German occupation of Czechoslovakia
The German occupation of Czechoslovakia began with the German annexation of Czechoslovakia's border regions known collectively as the Sudetenland, under terms outlined by the Munich Agreement. German leader Adolf Hitler's pretext for this action was the alleged privations suffered by the ethnic German population living in those regions. New and extensive Czechoslovak border fortifications were located in the same area. Following the Anschluss of Austria to Nazi Germany, in March 1938, the conquest of Czechoslovakia became Hitler's next ambition; the incorporation of the Sudetenland into Germany that began on 1 October 1938 left the rest of Czechoslovakia weak, it became powerless to resist subsequent occupation. Part of the borderland region known as Zaolzie was occupied and subsequently returned to Poland after Czechoslovakia annexed it from Poland prior during the Polish-Soviet War. On 15 March 1939, the German Wehrmacht moved into the remainder of Czechoslovakia and, from Prague Castle, Hitler proclaimed Bohemia and Moravia the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.
The occupation ended with the surrender of Germany following World War II. Sudeten German pro-Nazi leader Konrad Henlein offered the Sudeten German Party as the agent for Hitler's campaign. Henlein met with Hitler in Berlin on 28 March 1938, where he was instructed to raise demands unacceptable to the Czechoslovak government led by president Edvard Beneš. On 24 April, the SdP issued the Karlsbader Program, demanding autonomy for the Sudetenland and the freedom to profess National Socialist ideology. If Henlein's demands were granted, the Sudetenland would be able to align itself with Nazi Germany. I am asking neither that Germany be allowed to oppress three and a half million Frenchmen, nor am I asking that three and a half million Englishmen be placed at our mercy. Rather I am demanding that the oppression of three and a half million Germans in Czechoslovakia cease and that the inalienable right to self-determination take its place; as the tepid reaction to the German Anschluss with Austria had shown, the governments of France, the United Kingdom and Czechoslovakia were set on avoiding war at any cost.
The French government did not wish to face Germany alone and took its lead from the British government and its prime minister, Neville Chamberlain. Chamberlain contended that Sudeten German grievances were justified and believed that Hitler's intentions were limited. Britain and France, advised Czechoslovakia to concede to the German demands. Beneš resisted, on 20 May 1938 a partial mobilization was under way in response to possible German invasion, it is suggested that mobilization could have been launched on basis of Soviet misinformation about Germany being on verge of invasion, which aimed to trigger war between Western powers. On 30 May, Hitler signed a secret directive for war against Czechoslovakia to begin no than 1 October. In the meantime, the British government demanded. Not wishing to sever his government's ties with Western Europe, Beneš reluctantly accepted; the British appointed Lord Runciman and instructed him to persuade Beneš to agree to a plan acceptable to the Sudeten Germans.
On 2 September, Beneš submitted the Fourth Plan, granting nearly all the demands of the Karlsbader Programm. Intent on obstructing conciliation, the SdP held demonstrations that provoked police action in Ostrava on 7 September; the Sudeten Germans broke off negotiations on 13 September, after which violence and disruption ensued. As Czechoslovak troops attempted to restore order, Henlein flew to Germany, on 15 September issued a proclamation demanding the takeover of the Sudetenland by Germany. On the same day, Hitler met with Chamberlain and demanded the swift takeover of the Sudetenland by the Third Reich under threat of war; the Czechs, Hitler claimed, were slaughtering the Sudeten Germans. Chamberlain referred the demand to the French governments; the Czechoslovak government resisted, arguing that Hitler's proposal would ruin the nation's economy and lead to German control of all of Czechoslovakia. The United Kingdom and France issued an ultimatum, making a French commitment to Czechoslovakia contingent upon acceptance.
On 21 September, Czechoslovakia capitulated. The next day, Hitler added new demands, insisting that the claims of Poland and Hungary be satisfied. Romania was invited to share in the division of Carpathian Ruthenia, but refused, because of being an ally of Czechoslovakia; the Czechoslovak capitulation precipitated an outburst of national indignation. In demonstrations and rallies and Slovaks called for a strong military government to defend the integrity of the state. A new cabinet—under General Jan Syrový—was installed, on 23 September 1938 a decree of general mobilization was issued; the Czechoslovak army—modern and possessing an excellent system of frontier fortifications—was prepared to fight. The Soviet Union announced its willingness to come to Czechoslovakia's assistance. Beneš, refused to go to war without the support of the Western powers. Hitler gave a speech in Berlin on 26 September 1938 and declared that the Sudetenland was "the last territorial demand I have to make in Europe", he stated that he had told Chamberlain, "I have assured him further that, this I repeat here before you, once this issue has been resolved, there will no longer be any further territorial problems for Germany in Europe!"On 28 September, Chamberlain appealed to Hitler for a conference.
Hitler met the next day, at Munich, with the chiefs of governments of France and Britain. The Czechoslovak government was neither consulted. On 29 September, the Munich Agreement was signed by Germany, Italy
National Theatre (Prague)
The National Theatre in Prague is known as the alma mater of Czech opera, as the national monument of Czech history and art. The National Theatre belongs to the most important Czech cultural institutions, with a rich artistic tradition, which helped to preserve and develop the most important features of the nation–the Czech language and a sense for a Czech musical and dramatic way of thinking. Today the National Theatre consists of three artistic ensembles: opera and drama, they alternate in their performances in the historic building of the National Theatre, in the Theatre of the Estates and in the Kolowrat Theatre. All three artistic ensembles select their repertoire both from classical heritage, modern authors; the cornerstone of the National Theatre was laid on 16 May 1868, but the idea of building a theatre dates back to the autumn of 1844 at the gatherings of patriots in Prague. An application was submitted by František Palacký to the Provincial Committee of the Bohemian Assembly on 29 January 1845, requesting "the privilege of constructing, furnishing and managing" of an independent Czech theatre.
The application was granted in April 1845, but it was not until six years – in April 1851 – that the founding Society for the Establishment of a Czech National Theatre in Prague made the first public appeal to start a collection. A year the proceeds went toward the purchase of land belonging to a former salt works covering an area of not quite 28 acres which determined the magnificent site of the theatre on the banks of the river Vltava facing the panorama of Prague Castle, but at the same time the cramped area and trapezium shape posed challenging problems for the designers of the building; the era of von Bach absolutism brought to a halt preparations for the envisaged theatre and supported the concept of a modest provisional building, erected on the south side of the theatre parcel by architect Vojtěch Ignác Ullmann and opened on 18 November 1862. The building of the Provisional Theatre became a constituent part of the final version of the National Theatre. With the realization of this minimal programme asserted by F.
L. Rieger and the Provincial Committee, the young progressive advocates of the original ambitious concept of the building launched an offensive. In 1865 these men attained leading positions in the Society and requested the 33-year-old professor of civil engineering at the Prague Technical College, architect Josef Zítek, to draft a design for the National Theatre, he came out on top in a later-declared open competition, in 1867 construction work began. On 16 May 1868, the foundation stone was laid, in November the foundations were completed. In 1875, the new building reached its full height and in 1877 the theatre was roofed over; as of 1873 there was an ongoing competition for the interior decoration of the building, the scenario of, elaborated by a special commission under the leadership of Sladkovský. On the one hand, the themes were in the spirit of the Neo-Renaissance concept of a classic building. On the other hand, they were inspired by the current enthusiasm for Slavonic mythology and the stories of the Manuscripts.
They provided the fundamental ideology guiding artistic expression, which today is described as the art of the generation of the National Theatre. The theatre includes a triga and 10 exterior allegorical sculptures by Bohuslav Schnirch, 10 more exterior pieces by Antonín Wagner, the stone pieces by Max Verich and an interior sculpted pediment group over the proscenium arch by Schnirch; the National Theatre was opened for the first time on 11 June 1881, to honour the visit of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria. Bedřich Smetana's opera Libuše was given its world premiere, conducted by Adolf Čech. Another 11 performances were presented after that; the theatre was closed down to enable the completion of the finishing touches. While this work was under way a fire broke out on 12 August 1881, which destroyed the copper dome, the auditorium and the stage of the theatre; the fire was seen as a national catastrophe and was met with a mighty wave of determination to take up a new collection: Within 47 days a million guldens were collected.
This national enthusiasm, did not correspond to the behind-the-scenes battles that flared up following the catastrophe. Architect Josef Zítek was no longer in the running, his pupil architect Josef Schulz was summoned to work on the reconstruction, he was the one to assert the expansion of the edifice to include the block of flats belonging to Dr. Polák, situated behind the building of the Provisional Theatre, he made this building a part of the National Theatre and changed somewhat the area of the auditorium to improve visibility. He did, take into account with utmost sensitivity the style of Zítek's design, so he managed to merge three buildings by various architects to form an absolute unity of style; the interior artwork was done by František Ženíšek. The building of the National Theatre was inaugurated on 18 November 1883; the building, with perfect technical equipment, served without any extensive modifications for one hundred years. It was only on 1 April 1977, following a performance of the Lantern by Jirásek, that the theatre was cl
Pavel Haas was a Czech composer, murdered during the Holocaust. He was an exponent of Leoš Janáček's school of composition, utilized elements of folk music and jazz. Although his output was not large, he is notable for his song cycles and string quartets. Haas was born into a Jewish family, his father, Zikmund, a shoemaker by trade, was from the Moravian region, while his mother, was born in Odessa. After studying piano Haas began his more formal musical education at the age of 14 and studied composition at the Brno Conservatory from 1919 to 1921 under Jan Kunc and Vilém Petrželka; this was followed by two years of study in the master class of the noted Czech composer Leoš Janáček. Janáček was far and away Haas's most influential teacher, Haas, in turn, proved to be Janáček's best student. In 1935 he married the former wife of Russian linguist Roman Jakobson. Of the more than 50 works Haas wrote during the next two decades, only 18 were given opus numbers by the self-critical composer. While still working in his father's business, he wrote musical works of all kinds, including symphonic and choral works, chamber music, scores for cinema and theatre.
His opera, Šarlatán, was first performed in Brno to sincere acclaim in April 1938. He received the Smetana Foundation award for the opera. In 1941, Haas was deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp, he was one of several Czech-Jewish composers there, including Viktor Ullmann, Gideon Klein and Hans Krása. Prior to his arrest, he had divorced his wife Soňa in order that she and their young daughter,Olga, would not suffer a similar fate. In 1938, in desperation, he wrote to relatives of his wife in New Jersey, to Frank Rybka in New York, a former student of Janacek. An attempt was launched by these Americans to help Haas secure passage, but this came too late to help. On his arrival at Theresienstadt, he became depressed and had to be coaxed into composition by Gideon Klein. Haas wrote at least eight compositions in the camp, they include a set of Four Songs on Chinese Poetry for baritone and piano, a work for men's choir titled "Al s'fod", the Study for String Orchestra, premiered in Theresienstadt under the Czech conductor Karel Ančerl and is Haas's best-known work today.
The orchestral parts were found by Ančerl after the liberation of Theresienstadt and the score was reconstructed. In 1944 the Nazis remodeled Theresienstadt just before a visit from the Red Cross, a propaganda film, Der Führer schenkt den Juden eine Stadt, was made by director Kurt Gerron, under the coercion of the camp commandant, Karl Rahm. In the film, children are seen singing Hans Krása's opera, Brundibár, Haas can be seen taking a bow after a performance, conducted by Karel Ančerl, of his Study for Strings; when the propaganda project was over, the Nazis transferred 18,000 prisoners, including Haas and the children who had sung in Brundibár, to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where they were murdered in the gas chambers. According to the testimony of Karel Ančerl, Haas stood next to him after their arrival at Auschwitz. Doctor Mengele was about to send Ančerl to the gas chamber first, but the weakened Haas began to cough, so the death sentence was chosen for him instead. After the war Ančerl told him the story.
Haas's large-scale symphony, which he began prior to his deportation to Theresienstadt, remained unfinished, but the surviving torso was orchestrated by Zdeněk Zouhar in 1994. Haas's music, stemming from Bohemian and Moravian roots, is sometimes tinted by Hebrew melody. Haas has been described as "a reserved but eloquent student of Janáček" by Alex Ross in his history of classical music in the 20th century, The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, his brother Hugo Haas was a popular actor in pre-war Czechoslovakia. Principal publishers: Boosey & Hawkes, Bote & Bock, Sádlo, Tempo Šarlatán – Prague Philharmonic Choir, Prague State Opera Orchestra, Israel Yinon. 3, Op. 15Haas/Korngold/Haydn string quartets: String quartet No. 2. Adamas Quartett. Pavel Haas: Bläserquintett, Suiten Op. 13 • Op. 17, Vyvolená – Jörg Dürmüller, Dennis Russell Davies, Stuttgarter Bläserquintet. 3, Op. 15Risonanza – Vilém Veverka, Ivo Kahánek.
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection
Olomouc is a city in Moravia, in the east of the Czech Republic. Located on the Morava River, the city is the ecclesiastical metropolis and was a historical capital city of Moravia, before having been sacked by the Swedish army during the Thirty Years' War. Today, it is the administrative centre of the Olomouc Region and the sixth largest city in the Czech Republic; the city has about 100,000 residents, its larger urban zone has a population of about 480,000 people. Olomouc is said to occupy the site of a Roman fort founded in the imperial period, the original name of which, would be changed to the present form. Although this account is not documented except as oral history, archaeological excavations close to the city have revealed the remains of a Roman military camp dating from the time of the Marcomannic Wars of the late 2nd century. During the 6th century, Slavs migrated into the area; as early as the 7th century, a centre of political power developed in the present-day quarter of Povel.
Around 810 the local Slavonic ruler was defeated by troops of Great Moravian rulers and the settlement in Olomouc-Povel was destroyed. A new centre, where the Great Moravian governor resided, developed at the gord at Předhradí, a quarter of the inner city; this settlement survived the defeat of the Great Moravia and became the capital of the province of Moravia. The bishopric of Olomouc was founded in 1063, it was re-founded because there are some unclear references to bishops of Moravia in the 10th century—if they were not only missionary bishops, but representatives of some remains of regular church organization it is likely that these bishops had seat right here. Centuries in 1777, it was raised to the rank of an archbishopric; the bishopric was moved from the church of St. Peter to the church of Saint Wenceslas in 1141 under bishop Jindřich Zdík; the bishop's palace was built in the Romanesque architectural style. The bishopric acquired large tracts of land in northern Moravia, was one of the richest in the area.
Olomouc became one of the most important settlements in Moravia and a seat of the Přemyslid government and one of the appanage princes. In 1306 King Wenceslas III stopped here on his way to Poland, he was going to fight Władysław I the Elbow-high to claim his rights to the Polish crown and was assassinated. With his death, the whole Přemyslid dynasty died out; the city was founded in the mid-13th century and became one of the most important trade and power centres in the region. In the Middle Ages, it was the biggest town in Moravia and competed with Brno for the position of capital. Olomouc lost after the Swedes took the city and held it for eight years. In 1235, the Mongols launched an invasion of Europe. After the Battle of Legnica in Poland, the Mongols carried their raids into Moravia, but were defensively defeated at the fortified town of Olomouc; the Mongols subsequently defeated Hungary. In 1454 the city expelled its Jewish population as part of a wave of anti-Semitism seen in Spain and Portugal.
The second half of the 15th century is considered the start of Olomouc's golden age. It hosted several royal meetings, Matthias Corvinus was elected here as King of Bohemia by the estates in 1469. In 1479 two kings of Bohemia concluded an agreement for splitting the country. Participating in the Protestant Reformation, Moravia became Protestant. During the Thirty Years' War, in 1640 Olomouc was occupied by the Swedes for eight years, they left the city in ruins, it became second to Brno. In 1740 the town was captured and held by the Prussians. Olomouc was fortified by Maria Theresa during the wars with Frederick the Great, who besieged the city unsuccessfully for seven weeks in 1758. In 1848 Olomouc was the scene of the emperor Ferdinand's abdication. Two years Austrian and German statesmen held a conference here called the Punctation of Olmütz. At the conference, they agreed to restore the German Confederation and Prussia accepted leadership by the Austrians. In 1746 the first learned society in the lands under control of the Austrian Habsburgs, the Societas eruditorum incognitorum in terris Austriacis, was founded in Olomouc to spread Enlightenment ideas.
Its monthly Monatliche Auszüge was the first scientific journal published in the Habsburg empire. Because of its ecclesiastical links to Austria, Salzburg in particular, the city was influenced by German culture since the Middle Ages. Demographics before censuses can only be interpreted from other documents; the town's ecclesiastical constitution, the meetings of the Diet and the locally printed hymnal, were recorded in the Czech language in the mid-16th and 17th centuries. The first treatise on music in Czech was published in Olomouc in the mid-16th century; the political and social changes that followed the Thirty Years' War increased the influence of courtly Habsburg and Austrian/German language culture. The "Germanification" of the town resulted from the cosmopolitan nature of the city. Despite these influences, the Czech language dominated in ecclesiastical publications throughout the 17th and 18th centuries; when the Austrian-born composer and musician Philip J. Rittler accepted
New York City
The City of New York called either New York City or New York, is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles, New York is the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural and media capital of the world, exerts a significant impact upon commerce, research, education, tourism, art and sports; the city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
Situated on one of the world's largest natural harbors, New York City consists of five boroughs, each of, a separate county of the State of New York. The five boroughs – Brooklyn, Manhattan, The Bronx, Staten Island – were consolidated into a single city in 1898; the city and its metropolitan area constitute the premier gateway for legal immigration to the United States. As many as 800 languages are spoken in New York, making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world. New York City is home to more than 3.2 million residents born outside the United States, the largest foreign-born population of any city in the world. In 2017, the New York metropolitan area produced a gross metropolitan product of US$1.73 trillion. If greater New York City were a sovereign state, it would have the 12th highest GDP in the world. New York is home to the highest number of billionaires of any city in the world. New York City traces its origins to a trading post founded by colonists from the Dutch Republic in 1624 on Lower Manhattan.
The city and its surroundings came under English control in 1664 and were renamed New York after King Charles II of England granted the lands to his brother, the Duke of York. New York served as the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790, it has been the country's largest city since 1790. The Statue of Liberty greeted millions of immigrants as they came to the U. S. by ship in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and is an international symbol of the U. S. and its ideals of liberty and peace. In the 21st century, New York has emerged as a global node of creativity and entrepreneurship, social tolerance, environmental sustainability, as a symbol of freedom and cultural diversity. Many districts and landmarks in New York City are well known, with the city having three of the world's ten most visited tourist attractions in 2013 and receiving a record 62.8 million tourists in 2017. Several sources have ranked New York the most photographed city in the world. Times Square, iconic as the world's "heart" and its "Crossroads", is the brightly illuminated hub of the Broadway Theater District, one of the world's busiest pedestrian intersections, a major center of the world's entertainment industry.
The names of many of the city's landmarks and parks are known around the world. Manhattan's real estate market is among the most expensive in the world. New York is home to the largest ethnic Chinese population outside of Asia, with multiple signature Chinatowns developing across the city. Providing continuous 24/7 service, the New York City Subway is the largest single-operator rapid transit system worldwide, with 472 rail stations. Over 120 colleges and universities are located in New York City, including Columbia University, New York University, Rockefeller University, which have been ranked among the top universities in the world. Anchored by Wall Street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, New York has been called both the most economically powerful city and the leading financial center of the world, the city is home to the world's two largest stock exchanges by total market capitalization, the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. In 1664, the city was named in honor of the Duke of York.
James's older brother, King Charles II, had appointed the Duke proprietor of the former territory of New Netherland, including the city of New Amsterdam, which England had seized from the Dutch. During the Wisconsinan glaciation, 75,000 to 11,000 years ago, the New York City region was situated at the edge of a large ice sheet over 1,000 feet in depth; the erosive forward movement of the ice contributed to the separation of what is now Long Island and Staten Island. That action left bedrock at a shallow depth, providing a solid foundation for most of Manhattan's skyscrapers. In the precolonial era, the area of present-day New York City was inhabited by Algonquian Native Americans, including the Lenape, whose homeland, known as Lenapehoking, included Staten Island; the first documented visit into New York Harbor by a European was in 1524 by Giovanni da Verrazzano, a Florentine explorer in the service of the French crown. He named it Nouvelle Angoulême. A Spanish expedition led by captain Estêvão Gomes, a Portuguese sailing for Emperor Charles V, arrived in New York Harbor in January 1525 and charted the mouth of the Hudson River, which he named Río de San Antonio.
The Padrón Rea
Brno is the second largest city in the Czech Republic by population and area, the largest Moravian city, the historical capital city of the Margraviate of Moravia. Brno is the administrative center of the South Moravian Region in which it forms a separate district; the city has about 400,000 inhabitants. Brno is the seat of judicial authority of the Czech Republic – it is the seat of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, the Supreme Administrative Court, the Supreme Public Prosecutor's Office; the city is a significant administrative centre. It is the seat of a number of state authorities, including the Ombudsman, the Office for the Protection of Competition. Brno is an important centre of higher education, with 33 faculties belonging to 13 institutes of higher learning and about 89,000 students. Brno Exhibition Centre ranks among the largest exhibition centres in Europe; the complex opened in 1928 and established the tradition of large exhibitions and trade fairs held in Brno. Brno hosts motorbike and other races on the Masaryk Circuit, a tradition established in 1930, in which the Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix is one of the most prestigious races.
Another cultural tradition is an international fireworks competition, Ignis Brunensis, that attracts tens of thousands of daily visitors. The most visited sights of the city include the Špilberk castle and fortress and the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul on Petrov hill, two medieval buildings that dominate the cityscape and are depicted as its traditional symbols; the other large preserved castle near the city is Veveří Castle by Brno Reservoir. This castle is the site of a number of legends. Another architectural monument of Brno is the functionalist Villa Tugendhat, included on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. One of the natural sights nearby is the Moravian Karst; the city is a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and has been designated as a "City of Music" in 2017. The etymology of the name Brno is disputed, it might be derived from the Old Czech brnie'muddy, swampy.' Alternative derivations are from a Slavic verb brniti or a Celtic language spoken in the area before it was overrun by Germanic peoples and Slavic peoples.
Throughout its history, Brno's locals referred to the town in other languages, including Brünn in German, ברין in Yiddish and Bruna in Latin. The city was referred to as Brunn in English, but this usage is not common today; the Asteroid 2889 Brno was named after the city, as well as the Bren light machine gun, one of the most famous weapons of World War II. The Brno basin has been inhabited since prehistoric times, but the town's direct predecessor was a fortified settlement of the Great Moravia Empire known as Staré Zámky, inhabited from the Neolithic Age to the early 11th century. In the early 11th century Brno was established as a castle of a non-ruling prince from the House of Přemyslid, Brno became one of the centres of Moravia along with Olomouc and Znojmo. Brno was first mentioned in Cosmas' Chronica Boëmorum dated to year 1091, when Bohemian king Vratislav II besieged his brother Conrad at Brno castle. In the mid 11th century, Moravia was divided into three separate territories. Seats of these rulers and thus "capitals" of these territories were castles and towns of Brno and Znojmo.
In the late 12th century, Moravia began forming the Margraviate of Moravia. Since until the mid of the 17th century, it was not clear which town should be the capital of Moravia. Political power was therefore "evenly" divided between Brno and Olomouc, but Znojmo played an important role; the Moravian Diet, the Moravian Land Tables, the Moravian Land Court were all seated in both cities at once. However, Brno was the official seat of the Moravian Margraves, its geographical position closer to Vienna became important. Otherwise, until 1642 Olomouc was larger than Brno by population, it was the seat of the only Roman Catholic diocese in Moravia. In 1243 Brno was granted the large and small city privileges by the King, thus it was recognized as a royal city. In 1324 Queen Elisabeth Richeza of Poland founded the current Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady, now her final resting place. In the 14th century, Brno became one of the centres for the Moravian regional assemblies, whose meetings alternated between Brno and Olomouc.
These assemblies made political and financial decisions. Brno and Olomouc were the seats of the Land Court and the Land Tables, thus they were the two most important cities in Moravia. From the mid 14th century to the early 15th century the Špilberk Castle had served as the permanent seat of the Margraves of Moravia. In the 15th century Brno was besieged in 1428 and again in 1430 by the Hussites during the Hussite Wars. Both attempts to conquer the city failed. In 1641, in the midst of the Thirty Years' War, the Holy Roman Emperor and Margrave of Moravia Ferdinand III commanded permanent relocation of the diet and the land