The Brno basin has been inhabited since prehistoric era, however, the direct ancestor of Brno was a fortified settlement of the Great Moravia Empire known as Staré Zámky which was inhabited since the Neolithic Age to the early 11th century. In the early 11th century Brno was established as a castle of non-ruling Prince from the House of Přemyslid, and Brno became one of the centres of Moravia along with Olomouc and Znojmo.
In the 11th century a chapel was founded on the Petrov hill, since then, the chapel has undergone many changes which after centuries resulted in the current Gothic Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul. The Spilberk Castle was founded in the 13th century, originally as the major royal castle in Moravia. In 1243 Brno received the large and small city privileges from the King, and thus it was recognized as a royal city. In 1324 Queen Elisabeth Richeza of Poland (cz: Eliška Rejčka) founded the current Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady where is 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, legal, and financial decisions. Brno and Olomouc were also 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 Spilberk Castle had served as the permanent seat of the Margraves of Moravia (Moravian rulers), one of them was elected the King of the Romans.
In the 1641 Brno became the sole capital of Moravia. During the 17th century Spilberk Castle was rebuild into a huge baroque citadel. In 1777 the Brno Bishopric was established. In 1839 the first train arrived in Brno from Vienna, this event was the beginning of rail transport in today's Czech Republic. In the years 1859-1864 the city fortification was almost completely removed. In 1869 a horse car service started to operate in Brno,