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Jihomoravsky kraj
Jihomoravsky kraj

The South Moravian Region belongs among 14 regions of the Czech Republic. The territory has a total area of ​​7188 km² and consists of seven districts. The districts include the Blansko, Brno-město, Brno-venkov, Břeclav, Hodonín, Vyskov and Znojmo. The South Moravian Region borders the South Bohemian Region in the southwest, the Vysočina Region in the west, the Pardubice Region in the north, the Olomouc Region in the northeast, and the Zlín Region in the east. The southern and south-eastern borders of the region also form the state border with Austria and Slovakia. The location of the region is relatively advantageous from a geographical point of view, due to its position on the historical connection between southern and northern Europe.[1] Approximately 1.20 million inhabitants live in the South Moravian Region. The seat and the largest city in the South Moravian Region is Brno, with the population of 379,526 people. [2]

What Jihomoravsky kraj is known for

In terms of international tourism, landscape and cultural-historical areas have a leading position in the region, namely the Lednice-Valtice, Moravian Karst, or Slavkov battlefields. The metropolis of Brno with its cultural monuments occupies a similar position. Podyjí National Park often stands out among the natural attractions.[1]

Regarding the natural sights, as mentioned above, one of the most popular attractions presumably is the Moravian Karst, which is one of the most important karst areas in Central Europe. The area consists of more than 1,100 caves, however, only five of them are open to the public. One example can be the Punkva Cave, which offers the possibility of sailing on the underground river Punkva, which is later connected with a tour of the bottom of the Macocha Abyss. This famous Abyss is more than 138 meters deep and is the largest abyss of its kind in the Czech Republic and Central Europe.[3]

Brno, the capital city of the South Moravian Region, is filled with cultural and historical sites. One such example can be the Špilberk Castle. The castle is located on the hilltop in Brno, as part of its historical center. Not far from Brno also lies the battlefield of one of the bloodiest Napoleonic Wars, which is known as the Battle of the Three Emperors at Austerlitz.[1] Another sight worth mentioning is the Villa Tugendhat, which was also inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2001. It was designed by the German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, built-in 1929–1930, and preserved till this day for its technological and architectural timelessness.[4] Brno is also known to be the hometown and a place where J. G. Mendel conducted his experiments. Mendel, nicknamed the father of genetics, formulated his laws of genetics in Brno and thus set the foundations for this new scientific discipline.[10]

Lying only a few kilometers from Austrian borders is the city Znojmo, at first sight, most would see it as a classic Central European town. However, its underground belongs among the most unique historical monuments from the 14th and 15th centuries, not only in the Czech Republic but also in Central Europe. It is a system of 27 km long underground corridors and cellars, which has up to four floors. The reason for the construction of this huge underground complex is to this day rather unclear. It's generally assumed the corridors were used for the defense of the city during the war. This opinion prevails, mainly because of the extremely complex and confusing system in which the underground's been built, both horizontally and vertically.[5]

Regarding the historical sights, one of the greatest attractions of the region is the state palace Lednice. The first historical report about this location dates back to 1222. The appearance of the palace, as we know it today, dates back to the years 1846-1858, when Prince Alois II from Liechtenstein decided that Vienna was unsuitable for holding summer festivities. Thus, Lednice palace was rebuilt into a representative summer residence. The reconstruction was inspired by English-gothic architecture. The representative halls on the ground floor, which are equipped with carved ceilings, wooden wall paneling, and selected furniture, were used for the organization of balls for the European nobility.[6]


The South Moravian region is surrounded by the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands and the Moravian Karst from the north and north-west. The south of the region lies in the Lower-Moravian Valley, dominated by fields, meadows, and the remainders of riparian forests. The highest point of the region lies at an altitude of 842 m and is located in the eastern part of Durda Mountain. In the east, the region reaches the Carpathian Mountains. The largest and the most relatively important river crossing the South Moravia territory is the Morava River. Other significant rivers are the Dyje or Svratka rivers.
The territory is composed of natural parks, for example, the White Carpathians Landscape Park, the Moravian Karst Landscape Park, and Pálava Landscape Park. Moreover, Podyjí National Park is situated in the south-eastern part of the region.[7]

Regarding the climate, the warmest months of the year are July and August with an average temperature of 26°C. The coldest month is January with an average daily temperature of 1°C. The wettest months generally are May with approximately 20 rainy days a month.[8]


In South Moravian village Dolní Věstonice are located some of the oldest archeological finds, monuments from the time of mammoth hunters. Subsequently, Moravia was continuously inhabited from the 4th century BC. First settlers of the area belonged among Celtic and then Germanic tribes. An important turn was the arrival of Avars in the 6th and 7th centuries. By the late 8th century, the area became settled by Slavic tribes. The Slavs living in this area adopted the name Moravians, which was inspired by the Morava River flowing through the area. Moravians developed a state under the rule of Prince Mojmír I. This kingdom included a part of western Slovakia as well. Mojmír’s successors, Rostislav and later his nephew Svätopluk, added the whole territory of Bohemia, the southern part of Poland and western part of Hungary to the Moravian kingdom, creating the Great Moravia. 

One of the most important milestones for the Great Moravia and especially for later-emerging Czechoslovakia was the invitation of Cyril and Methodius. Rostislav invited these Byzantine missionary brothers in order to spread Christianity in Bohemia and Moravia. The desired way to do that was to translate the chief liturgical texts into the Slavic language. That way regular farmers would be able to understand it. They are said to bring the letter and speech to Moravians, from this origin the Slovak and Czech languages were evolving to the form they have today. After the death of Svätopluk in 894, the Great Moravia disintegrated and was finally destroyed by a Magyar attack in 906. 

The territory of Great Moravia was later contested by Poland, Hungary, and Bohemia. In 1029 Moravia was incorporated as a distinct province into the Bohemian kingdom, which later formed into Czechia as we know it today. In 1526 Moravia, with Bohemia, was claimed by Ferdinand of Austria, and thus was under the rule of the Habsburgs. In the Revolution in 1848, the Habsburgs made Moravia a separate Austrian crown land, a part of Austria-Hungary. 

After World War I in 1918, Austria-Hungary had fallen apart and a new state of Czechoslovakia was formed. Even though Czechoslovakia's been annexed by Nazi Germany before and during World War II, it was restored again after the war. Moravia was after that divided into two separate regions; South and North Moravian Regions. After the fall of the Iron Curtain, the Czech Republic was formed and South Moravian Region stayed part of it until this day. [9]