Brno is the economic and cultural centre of the South Moravian region. It is the country's second largest city. Brno's architecture reflects the town's long and rich history, including such outstanding functionalist works as the Brno Trade Fair Grounds (host to more than 50 international trade fairs each year). The city skyline is dominated by the Špilberk Castle, which was originally a Gothic palace and later became a baroque fortress. Other city features are the St. Peter's and St. Paul's Cathedral on Petrov Hill and the Old Town Hall.
The royal town of České Budějovice was founded in 1265 and is famous around the world for its Budweiser beer. Medieval houses, including a baroque town hall, Samson’s Fountain and St. Nicholas’ Cathedral, surround its large rectangular town square. The dominant feature of the town is the Gothic-Renaissance Black Tower, which offers a magnificent view. Another historical monument is the Dominican Cloister with the Church of the Sacrifice of the Virgin Mary, which contains Gothic fresco paintings.
Hradec Králové is a major administrative centre in eastern Bohemia. It is one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Bohemia, and was also called ''the City of Czech Queens''. The Gothic Church of the Holy Spirit, the Renaissance White Tower, the baroque church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and the Bishop's Palace are landmarks representing the variety of architectural styles that Hradec Králové is proud of.
Jihlava is a centre of the Vysočina Region. It is situated on the Jihlava river on the ancient frontier between Moravia and Bohemia, and is the second oldest mining town in the Czech Republic. Its principal buildings include the churches of St. James, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. John the Baptist and St. Paul, the Municipal Hall and the catacombs, which are the second largest in the Czech Republic.
The nearby peak of Ještěd is the dominant feature of the district. Historical places of interest include the neo-Renaissance town hall from the 19th century and log houses from the 17th century. Liberec offers a wide range of cultural services, including a regional gallery, a fine public library as well as zoological and botanical gardens.
Olomouc is protected by law to conserve its unique cultural heritage and monuments. Its notable landmarks include the Church of St. Wenceslas, founded around 1100 AD. The main square is a harmonious area dominated by the town hall, the Trinity column, a modern astronomical clock and two fountains from the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries, which have been recently complemented by a third fountain. The Přemyslid Palace with its specific composite windows is an outstanding Romanesque monument.
Opava is an ancient town and the historical centre of the Czech part of the Silesian region. Its historical monuments include a former Minorite Monastery, the ''Hláska'' City Hall, the parish Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary as well as the Silesian Theatre and Opera House. There are also regional archives and a number of libraries.
Ostrava is the third largest city in the Czech Republic and the administrative centre of the Moravian-Silesian region. It has become an important cultural, trade and sporting centre. The city has enjoyed rapid growth in its tourist potential, which has been helped by the city’s location close to the Polish and Slovak borders, its wealth of unique industrial architecture and other sights, the rich historical and cultural heritage of the region and the sporting opportunities offered by the nearby mountains and countryside.
With its neo-Renaissance town hall, many burghers’ houses and a castle, Pernštýn Square (Pernštýnské náměstí) is the highlight of the town centre. Other landmarks include the Green Gate and St. Bartholomew’s Church, both dating back to the 16th century. The town is also famous for horse racing and for gingerbread.
Plzeň is the fourth largest city in the Czech Republic and is well known all over the world for its beer brewing. The dominant feature of the historical centre of Plzeň is the Church of St Bartholomew, with a tower over 100 metres high. A town hall and a number of burghers' houses and stone portals represent the Renaissance period. The episcopate building is one of a number of baroque sights. At the end of the 19th century, a synagogue, which is the third largest in the world, was built in a Moorish Romanesque style.
Praha (Prague) is the capital city and the largest city in the Czech Republic. It is the seat of the president, the government and the parliament. It is a cultural and economic centre. It was built by the finest architects and artists from all over Europe. Its buildings, famed bridges, flowing river and narrow cobbled streets are breathtaking and charming. The centre of Prague is basically one big landmark, monument and historical site, spread across three districts - the Old Town (Staré Město), the Lesser Town (Malá Strana) with Prague Castle, and the Jewish Quarter.
Ústí nad Labem
Ústí nad Labem is a modern city in the north-western part of Bohemia located in the beautiful Labe (Elbe) River valley, 20 km from the German border. The Marian Bridge over the Labe was awarded a special prize in 2001 in a public survey commissioned by the Structural Engineering International journal, and was nominated among the world's 10 most beautiful construction projects in recent decades. The cliff-top ruins of Střekov castle dominate the skyline of the city.
Zlín is famous especially for the Baťa shoe company, which was established in the 19th century and prospered between the two world wars. Even today the city is a showcase of urban functionalism. From the point of view of historical interest, there is a large Renaissance chateau rebuilt in a baroque style situated in the middle of the city.