Brno is the second largest city in the Czech Republic, located in the southeast of the country. It was founded in 1243, although the area had been settled since the 5th century. As of December2009 the population is 405,337. Brno is the capital of the South Moravian Region as well as the seat of the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic, the Supreme Court, the Supreme AdministrativeCourt, the Supreme Prosecutor's Office and the Ombudsman. Traditionally, it has served as the capital of the historical land Moravia.
Brno as such was acknowledged to be a town in 1243 by Václav I,King of Bohemia, but the area itself had been settled since the 2nd century. It is mentioned on Ptolemy's atlas of Magna Germania as Eburodunum. From the 11th century, a castle of the governing Přemysliddynastystood here, and was the seat of the non-ruling prince.
During the 14th century Brno became one of the centres for the Moravian regional assemblies, whose meetings alternated between Brno andOlomouc. These regional authority bodies made decisions on political, legal, and financial questions. They were also responsible for the upkeep of regional records.
During the Hussite Wars, the cityremained faithful to Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor. The Hussites twice laid siege to the city, once in 1428 and again in 1430, both times in vain.
During the Thirty Years' War, in 1643 and 1645, Brnowas the only city to successfully defend itself from Swedish sieges, thereby allowing the Austrian Empire to reform their armies and to repel the Swedish pressure. In recognition of its services, thecity was rewarded with a renewal of its city privileges. In the years following the Thirty Years' War, the city became an impregnable baroque fortress. In 1742, the Prussians vainly attempted toconquer the city, and the position of Brno was confirmed with the establishment of a bishopric in 1777. In 1805, The Battle of Austerlitz took place about 10 kilometers (6 miles) southeast of Brno.