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Brno and surroundings
The city under Špilberk Castle and its environs has stood at the intersection of northern and southern European civilisations for centuries. Long ago, the gold coins of rich merchants jingled and the weapons of marauding knights clashed here. Brno, the second-largest city in the Czech Republic, is home to innumerable historical monuments and curiosities, including the Cappucin monastery with its mummified monks, and the Modernistic Tugendhat Villa . The city’s environs are full of natural reserves, parks and sites where history was changed. One of these sites is the Slavkov Battlefield. Yes, this is the very place where one of the most famous battles of the Napoleonic Wars took place. Today, the city of Brno is home to one of the largest trade fair grounds in the Czech Republic. And every year, tens of thousands of motorbike racing fans flock to the Brno Grand Prix not far from the Masaryk Circuit .
Brno forms the natural centre of Moravia. Historically it was one of the lands of the Bohemian Crown. The city’s environs, whose settlement stretches way back into prehistorical times, has a varied character. From the north it is shielded by spur of the Drahan uplands, from the west by the Bobrav Uplands, and from the south and southeast it is bordered by the Dyjsko-svratecký glen. Thanks to its position in the basin of the Svratka and Svitava Rivers, the town and its environs have vast expanses of beautiful countryside and pleasant climatic conditions that are ideal for hiking and recreation.
In Brno and its environs, there are innumerable well-marked trails are available to hiking enthusiasts. One of the most popular paths runs around the Brno Dam . It leads to a park in the Podkomorské Forest above the right bank, further on to Veveří Castle , and to the dam’s second bank. North of Brno, in Adamov’s Forests, there is another sort of attraction – a collection of forest monuments dedicated to the memory of Ranger Jan Opletal. Another fascinating trail runs through the forest, starting in Babice nad Svitavou. A clearly marked hiking path takes you around a promontory on which the Gothic Ronov Castle stands, leading you to the small U lípy arboretum, further on to the village of Útěchova (formerly a settlement under Ronov Castle), around charming meadows, to the route’s final destination, Bílovice nad Svitavou. From Bílovice it is possible to walk in the footprints of Rudolf Těsnohlídek, Brno poet and novelist. Your trip will take you to the ruins of Obřany Castle, among other places. There is also a trail that runs from Slavkov u Brna, taking you to the Slavkov Chateau with its exposition devoted to Napoleon and the Battle of Slavkov, through the solitude of Lutršték and the village of Letonice do Bučovic and Bučovic Chateau . Several attractive suburban hiking trails start in the Brno-Líšeň quarter and lead to such places as the Ochozská and Pekárna . After your journey, you can refresh yourself at the Říčky swimming pool.
Biking enthusiasts can take advantage of a vast network of bike paths that cross through the outskirts of Brno and through the Moravian metropolis itself. A bike path connecting Prague and Brno also runs through Brno. A secret tip: there is a trail that takes you along the romantic Bobrava valley stream. Several paths run from Brno to the Moravian Karst region.
29 kilometres of the Svratka River flow through Brno. The Brno Dam (252 hectares) was constructed to the northwest of the city. It is a popular recreational reservoir, its gorgeous panorama is crowned by the silhouette of Veveří Castle. The dam is 10 kilometres long. During the summer you can take a boat out on it. Three smaller dams and a pond on the Říčky River serve as recreation facilities. The lower stretch of the Bobrava River, southwest of Brno, is also very popular because of its beautiful countryside. There’s also great swimming at the Holásecký Pond by the village of Holásky, south of Brno.