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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Town Hall
Coat of arms
Country  Czech Republic
Region Olomouc
District Olomouc
River Morava
Elevation 219 m (719 ft)
Coordinates 49°35′38″N 17°15′3″E / 49.59389°N 17.25083°E / 49.59389; 17.25083
Area 103.36 km2 (39.91 sq mi)
Population 110,381 (As of 2006)
Density 1,068 /km2 (2,766 /sq mi)
Founded 10th century
 - First mentioned 1017
Mayor Martin Novotný
Postal code 779 00
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Name Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc
Year 2000 (#24)
Number 859
Region Europe and North America
Criteria i, iv
Location in the Czech Republic
Location in the Czech Republic
Wikimedia Commons: Olomouc

Olomouc (Czech pronunciation: [ˈolomoʊ̯ts]; local Haná dialect Olomóc or Holomóc, German Olmütz, Polish Ołomuniec, Latin Eburum or Olomucium) is a city in Moravia, in the east of the Czech Republic. The city is located on the Morava river and is the ecclesiastical metropolis of Moravia.


Architecture of Olomouc

town hall with astronomical clock

Olomouc contains several large squares, the chief of which is adorned with Holy Trinity Column, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The column is 115 ft (35 m) high and was built in 1716–1754.

The most prominent church is the Saint Wenceslas cathedral. In the end of the 19th century it was rebuilt in neo-Gothic style, but it kept many parts from the original church, which had also been rebuilt many times (Romanesque crypt, Gothic cloister, Baroque chapels). The highest of its three spires is 328 ft (100 m) The church neighbours with the Romanesque Bishop’s Palace (often incorrectly called the Přemyslid Palace), a 12th century Romanesque building. (image) The real Přemyslid Palace, i.e. the residence of Olomouc members of the governing Přemyslid Dynasty, used to stand nearby.

The Saint Maurice Church, a fine Gothic building of the 15th century, and the Saint Michael’s Church are also worth mentioning. The Neo-baroque chapel of Saint John Sarkander stands on the place of a former town prison. Catholic priest John Sarkander was imprisoned here in the beginning of the Thirty Years' War. He was accused of collaboration with the enemy and tortured here, but did not reveal anything because of the Seal of Confession, and died. The torturing rack and Sarkander’s gravestone are preserved here. He was canonized by Pope John Paul II during his visit in Olomouc in 1995.

Another place that John Paul II visited here was Svatý Kopeček, a part of Olomouc lying on a hill, with the magnificent Baroque church of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary looking down at the city. The Pope promoted the church to Minor Basilica.

The principal secular building is the town hall, completed in the 15th century, flanked on one side by a gothic chapel, transformed now into a museum. It possesses a tower 250 ft (76 m) high adorned with an astronomical clock.

The old university founded in 1573 and suppressed in 1860, was reopened in 1946 and called Palacký University.

Olomouc is also proud of its six Baroque fountains. The fountains survived in such a number thanks to cautious policy of the city council. While most European cities were removing old fountains after they had built their water supply piping, Olomouc decided to keep them as water reservoirs in case of fire. For their decoration ancient Roman motifs were used. Five of them depict Roman gods Jupiter (image), Mercury (image), Triton (image), Neptune (image) and Hercules (image), and one depicts Julius Caesar, the legendary founder of the city. (image)

There are few monasteries in Olomouc, including Hradisko Monastery, Convent of Dominican Sisters in Olomouc and others.


Olomouc is said to occupy a site of a Roman fort founded in the imperial period, the original name of which, Mons Julii, would have been gradually corrupted to the present form. Though this is just a legend, archaeological excavations revealed remains of a Roman military camp from the time of Marcoman Wars close to the city.

Since the 7th century there was a local power centre in the present-day quarter Povel. Olomouc was an important centre of the Great Moravian Empire in the 9th and early 10th century. The centre shifted to the area of Předhradí, a quarter of the inner city (Eastern, smaller part of the medieval centre). At a later period it was long the capital of the province of Moravia. In 906 the first Jews settled in Olomouc. In 1060 they were forced into a ghetto and instructed to wear a yellow badge. The bishopric of Olomouc was re-founded in 1063 (there are references to bishops of Moravia in the 10th century), and raised to the rank of an archbishopric in 1777. The bishopric was moved from the church of St Peter (now non-existent) to the church of St Wenceslas in 1141 (the date is still disputed, other suggestions are 1131, 1134) under bishop Henry Zdík and the bishop's palace was built in Romanesque architectural style. The remnants of it are one of the most precious monuments of Olomouc; a bishop's palace, a secular building of that early age is unique in Central Europe. The bishopric acquired large tracts of land especially in northern Moravia and 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, seat of one of the appanage princes. In 1306 King Wenceslas III stopped here on his way to Poland, where he wanted to fight Wladislaus I the Elbow-high to claim his rights to Polish crown, and was assassinated. With his death the whole Přemyslid dynasty died out.

The city itself was founded in mid-thirteenth 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 the capital. Olomouc lost finally after the Swedes took the city for eight years (1642–1650).

In 1454 the Jews of Olomouc were expelled. Later in the second half of the fifteenth century is what can be viewed as the start of Olomouc's golden age. It hosted several royal meetings and Matthias Corvinus was elected here Czech king by the estates in 1469. In 1479 two kings of Bohemia (Vladislaus II and Matthias Corvinus) met here and concluded an agreement (Peace of Olomouc of 1479) for splitting the country.

Olomouc fortress in 1686
Olomouc bastion fortress in 1757

During the Thirty Years' War, in 1640, Olomouc was occupied by the Swedes for eight years. They left the city in ruins and so it ceded its position to Brno. Olomouc was then 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, and in 1850 an important conference between Austrian and German statesmen called Punctation of Olmütz took place here. At the conference German Confederation was restored and Prussia submitted its leadership to the Austrians.

Largely because of its ecclesiastical links to Austria, Salzburg in particular, the city had a German influence since the Middle Ages. It is difficult assess the ethnic makeup of the town before an accurate census was taken. However, official documents from the second half of the 16th century and early 17th century reveal that the town's ecclesiastical constitution, the meetings of the Diet and the locally printed hymnal, were all in the Czech language. Also, the first treatise on music in the Czech language 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 culture. The "Germanification" of the town was probably more a result of the cosmopolitan environment of the town than by design. As the cultural, administrative and religious centre of the region, it drew officials, musicians and traders from all over Europe. Despite these influences, the Czech language still persisted, particularly in ecclesiastical publications throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. When the Austrian-born composer and musician Philip J. Rittler accepted a post at the Wenceslas Cathedral in the second half of the seventeenth century, he still felt it necessary to learn Czech. However, the use of the Czech language in official matters went into decline and by the 19th century, the official statistics record that the number of Germans was three times higher than the number of Czechs.[1] After the revolution in 1848, the Jewish expulsion order of 1454 was rescinded. In 1897 a synagogue was built and the Jewish population reached 1,676 in 1900. Olomouc was enclosed with city walls almost until the end of the 19th century. This suited the city council, because demolishing the walls would allow for extension of the city, which would result in the settlement of many Czechs from neighbouring villages. The city council preferred Olomouc smaller, but German. Expansion came after the WWI and establishing Czechoslovakia, when Olomouc integrated two neighbouring towns and 11 surrounding villages and thus gained new space for its growth.

There were serious tensions between the Czech and German-speaking inhabitants during both world wars (largely brought on by outside provocation). On Kristallnacht on November 10, 1938, the synagogue was destroyed and in March 1939, 800 Jewish men were arrested, some being sent to Dachau concentration camp. During 1942-1943, the remaining Jews were sent to Theresienstadt and other German concentration camps in occupied Poland. 285 of the towns Jews survived the Holocaust. During the war most of the towns' German residents sided with the Nazis and the German-run town council renamed the main square after Adolf Hitler. The Czech residents changed the name again after the town was liberated. When the retreating German army passed through Olomouc in the final weeks of the war they opened fire on the town's old astronomical clock, leaving only a few pieces (that can now be seen in the local museum). The one that can be seen today is a 1950s reconstruction and features a procession of proletarians rather than saints. Most of the German population was expelled after the war.

Despite its considerable charms, Olomouc has not been discovered by tourists in the same way that Prague, Český Krumlov and Karlovy Vary have. Its inner city is the second-largest historical monuments preserve in the country, after Prague.

One of Olomouc's famous sons was the film-maker Edgar G. Ulmer, who was born in Olomouc in 1904, but who always preferred to give Vienna as his birthplace, as this sounded less provincial.[2] Another notable son of Olomouc is football coach Karel Brückner, formerly head coach of the Czech national team and later head coach of Austria.


The main football club is SK Sigma Olomouc.

  • SK Sigma Olomouc - football club
  • HC Olomouc - hockey club [1] (Czech)
  • Skokani Olomouc - baseball club
  • 1. HFK Olomouc - football club
  • DHK Olomouc - women handball club [2] (Czech)
  • AK Olomouc - athletic club [3] (Czech)

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Olomouc is twinned with:


See also


  1. ^ Tichák, Milan (1997). Vzpomínky na starou Olomouc. Olomouc: Votobia. pp. 13. ISBN 80-7198-184-2.  
  2. ^ Last year, after research in various archives, Bernd Herzogenrath located the address where Ulmer was born in Olomouc. In 1904, the address was known as “Resselgasse 1, Ort Neugasse.” Today, the name is Resslova 1. A memorial plaque, designed by artist Bohumil Teplý, commemorating Ulmer's birth home was unveiled on Sept 17, 2006, on the occasion of the Ulmerfest 2006 - the First Academic Conference devoted to Ulmer's work. His daughter Arianné Ulmer-Cipes and her family were present at the event.

External links



Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Town Hall & Holy Trinity Column on the main square of Olomouc
Town Hall & Holy Trinity Column on the main square of Olomouc
Olomouc[1] (Olomóc or Holomóc in the local dialect, Olmütz in German) has the second largest and second oldest historic preservation zone in the Czech Republic, (after Prague). Olomouc lies astride the Morava River and is surrounded by the fertile Haná plain. It was capital of Moravia until 1641 and is the fifth-largest city in the country, with approximately 103,000 inhabitants.


The first written mention of a settlement at Olomouc is almost 1000 years ago when the Kosmas Chronicle described a fortified castle watching over the important Morava river ford on the road between Krakow and Prague. Between 16th and 19th centuries, Olomouc served as a strategically important fortress. The city today is the seat of the regional government, the Moravian archbishopric and the oldest university in Moravia, Palacky University (Universita Palackého).

Legend claims that the city was founded by Julius Caesar. It's unlikely that Caesar actually visited in person, but it is known that the city was originally a Roman military camp with the name Julii Mons (Julius' Hill). This name was gradually corrupted to its present form, Olomouc - which is pronounced 'Olo-mowts'. The Roman influence is a proud heritage of the city, and manifests itself in numerous areas.

Olomouc is doubtless the undiscovered gem of the Czech Republic. It is home to countless beautiful buildings, great culture (home of the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra), and hundreds of unique restaurants, bars, and pubs. Olomouc is totally off the radar of most tourists, feeling quietly normal and relaxed even on a nice day in July.

As the home to Palacky University, Olomouc is the country’s largest student city by percentage of population. Palacky University is one of the largest and most prestigious universities in the country and only Charles’ University in Prague has a longer history. During the academic year, the population of the city is increased by roughly 20,000 students, giving the city a vibrant feeling of life and energy. This is important to remember if you want to enjoy the thriving nightlife of the city - many bars and clubs depend on the student population and close for the summer vacations.

Olomouc has been the seat of the Catholic Archbishop for almost 1,000 years, and thus has some of the most beautifully decorated churches in Central Europe - though they will not appear in many travel guides.

Get in

By plane

There is a small publicly accessible international airport in Olomouc-Neředín (LKOL), however there are no commercial flights available. If you do not have a private plane, you will have to use one of the bigger airports in Ostrava, Brno, or Prague and then change for train or car.

SC Pendolino
SC Pendolino

From Prague, the easiest way to get to Olomouc is to take the direct train that leaves every few hours. Depending on the type of the train, the journey can take from 2 hours and 15 minutes (SC Pendolino, costs 400 Kč) to 3 hours and 30 minutes (Fast Train, 244 Kč). Always state the type of the train at the cash desk. If you are not sure, tell the salesperson the time of departure (or just simply ask for the forthcoming departure). Note that the Pendolino departs from Prague Main Station. If you are travelling in a group (two or more passengers are considered a group) ask for a group ticket, which entitles you to a 30% discount on domestic tickets. You should receive the discount automatically without requesting it, but if you want to be sure, ‘group discount’ in Czech is ‘sleva pro skupiny’.

Another good way to pay the fare is to obtain the "Kilometrická banka", a small book with prepaid 2000km. It costs 1800 Kč. The route from Prague to Olomouc is 250 km long. Up to three passengers can use one KB and two kids (6-15 yrs) are considered one passenger. You don't have to pay any surcharge when travelling with KB. You can use KB when going by Pendolino, but you have to buy a seat reservation (200 Kč). During peak times (Friday and Sunday afternoon) it is advisable to obtain a seat reservation.

From Krakow in Poland the best connection leaves early in the morning and travels direct to Olomouc in around four hours. The later connections involve a change at Katowice and takes around an hour longer.

From Vienna, the best connections take just under three hours to reach Olomouc and involve a change of trains at either Breclav or Prerov. Trains leave Vienna from either Sudbahnhof (south) or Wien Nord (north) stations.

The best place to check timetables and connections are the online timetables [2]. Fares for international journeys originating in the Czech Republic can be checked on the online tariff calculator [3].

Everything about Czech train tickets [4]

By bus

Travelling by bus can be cheaper for individuals but is usually most suitable for shorter trips within the Czech Republic. Buses are operated by the official government transport authority and a private company, Student Agency[5]. Student Agency offer competitive prices on some journeys, their buses are modern and extra services such as tea, coffee and films are included.

Some journeys however are more suited to trains. From Olomouc to Prague, the train trip is 250km. The bus trip is 286km, because the route leads all the way down to Brno, before turning up towards Prague on the D1 freeway, which is notorious for traffic jams at busy times of the week.

Parking violation
Parking violation

Get around

Public transportation is cheap and easy to use in Olomouc. Ticket machines stand at every major bus and tram stop and tickets are also available from newspaper kiosks. A single trip ticket is 12Kč. A one-day pass will cost 30 Kč (less than 1/3 the price of a Prague one day ticket). If you have the ISIC card, the one-day pass costs 15 Kč. This pass will work on both trams and buses. Be sure to insert the ticket into the time-stamper as soon as entering the bus or tram. You only have to do this once.

Ticket Controllers will sometimes ride the trams and buses dressed in plain clothes. They will show you a badge, and this is the indication for you to show them your ticket. They do not usually speak English. Controllers will sometimes stand at the tram exits at the most popular stops. The fine for riding without a ticket is 400 Kč.

On foot

The Olomouc city centre is best explored on foot. Its historic center is charming and it offers many opportunities for pleasant walks.

Náměstí Hrdinů central tramstop
Náměstí Hrdinů central tramstop
Close to the city centre, it is easiest to get around using the tram system. Leaving the main train station, the trams 1, 2, 4, 6, and 7 will all take you to the city centre. Usually, you would get off at the stops Koruna (2, 4, 6), Náměstí Hrdinů (4, 6, 7) or Okresní soud (1)

By bus

For the more remote areas, you have to use a bus. Many buses leave from the main train station.

By taxi

Taxis gather in the carpark at the front of the train station, and the ride from there to the centre should be around 100Kč. The free-call number is 800 223030


Olomouc is an exploring sightseer's paradise. A good place to begin is the main square (Horní náměstí or 'Upper Square'), with its huge Town Hall and the Holy Trinity Column (the largest column in Europe), which was enscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000. It is the second largest historical square in the Czech Republic. Don't miss the astronomical clock on the Town Hall. It is said to once have rivalled the beauty of Prague's, but was seriously damaged in the WWII and then rebuilt and repainted at the beginning of the Communist regime to reflect worker's values.

UNESCO-listed Trinity Column
UNESCO-listed Trinity Column
  • The Upper Square (Horní náměstí) is the main square of Olomouc, a beautiful place full of history where you can find some of the most important monuments:
    • The baroque Holy Trinity Column was built in the early 1700's and consecrated by the Empress Marie Theresa in 1754. With a height of 35 metres, it has dominated the Upper Square (Horní náměstí) ever since and was added to the UNESCO list of World Cultural Heritage in the year 2000. The column features sculptures of the Holy Trinity (predictably), the assumption of the Virgin Mary, all twelve apostles, three virtues and the most important saints of the Baroque period. The base of the column contains a small chapel with amazing acoustics and the raised pedestal is a very nice place to sit and eat lunch. It is one of the traditional rendezvous points in the city.
    • The renaissance Olomouc Town Hall occupies the centre of the main square (Horní náměstí). Its halls and chapel are accessible on guided tours and it's possible to climb the tower each day at 11AM and 3PM. The ground floor of the town hall houses a gallery, restaurant and the tourist information office. Ask in the office if you are interested in the guided tour and climbing the tower. On the north face is one of only two astronomical clocks in the country. On the west side, there is the Hygieia fountain from 1945, one of the many fountains in the city.
    • The Astronomical clock was constructed in the 15th Century, but takes its present appearance from the 1950's, during a refurbishment to repair damage inflicted in WWII. Czechoslovakia was under Communist rule by then and the clock reflects the values of the day, the saints and angels being replaced by scientists, sportspeople and labourers. There is one other astronomical clock in the Czech lands (in the other ancient capital, Prague), but as a surviving example of Socialist-Realism, the Olomouc Astronomical clock is unique world-wide. It is another popular rendezvous point in the city.
    • The baroque Caesar's Fountain is the largest fountain in Olomouc. It depicts the legendary founder of the city, Gaius Julius Caesar, riding a horse. It is one of the six great baroque Roman-themed fountains you can find in the city.
    • The baroque Hercules' Fountain depicts Hercules fighting Hydra. Another from the series of the six great baroque Roman-themed fountains you can find in the city.
    • The modern Arion's Fountaindepicts the legend of a poet thrown overboard and saved by a dolphin. It was specially designed to allow easy access to the water and is a favourite among children.
    • The bronze model of the city.
  • St. Wenceslas Cathedral, a thousand-year-old cathedral, dominates the city’s skyline with the tallest spire in Moravia, (second tallest in the Czech Republic) Pope John Paul II and Mother Tereza have both visited the cathedral and the holy relics of Saint Jan Sarkander are interred within.
  • St. Moritz church is a beautifully preserved gothic church dating from 1398. One of its highlights is the massive Engler organ, one of the largest in Europe. The organ is the focus of the international music festival in September/October and the Christmas Music festival every year. The tower of the church offers a magnificent 360 degree view over the city and countryside and is accessed via a graceful double-spiral staircase.
Snowy domes of St Michael's
Snowy domes of St Michael's
  • St. Michael's church appears quite plain from the outside. Upon entering, however, most first time visitors find their breath stolen away. Inside is one of the most beautiful baroque churches in Central Europe. One notable feature is a painting of an apparently pregnant Virgin Mary, quite rare in a catholic church. It’s also possible to enter the old monastery attached to the side of the church and climb its bell tower.
  • Bezručovy Sady is a lovely park that runs between the massive Fortress walls and the Mill channel, providing a great place to stroll and relax, also nice views of the University and St. Michael's Church
  • Basilica Minor on the Holy Hill (Svatý Kopeček). This is one of the most popular pilgrimage churches in Central Europe, and was honoured by Pope John Paul II. The best way to reach it is to take the bus 11 to Svatý Kopeček from stand 'E' in front of the railway station.
  • The University is spread throughout the city, but the most interesting parts to visitors are between the main square and St. Wenceslas’ Cathedral. The fine arts faculty has a sunny terrace courtyard with a café and views over the city walls from above. Also notable is the law campus on 17th. November Ave. which was formerly the headquarters of the Communist party.
Arion fountain detail
Arion fountain detail
  • Baroque Fountains. The city’s impeccable series of six stone baroque fountains are all within easy walking distance of the Main Square. They are based on Roman themes, and depict Neptune, Jupiter (both on Dolní náměstí), Mercury (near the Prior store), Triton (on Náměstí republiky), Hercules, and the legendary founder of Olomouc, Julius Caesar (both on Horní náměstí, the main square). There are also two more baroque fountains that were damaged and lost their central statues, Saturn fountain in the Hradisko monastery and Dolphin fountain near the Virgin Mary church. The missing statue of a child with a dolphin on the latter fountain was replaced a with lion head.
  • Modern fountains. There are also several remarkable modern fountains in Olomouc. The Arion fountain in the main square (Horní náměstí) depicts the legend of a poet thrown overboard and saved by a dolphin. It was specially designed to allow easy access to the water and is a favourite among children. Hygieia fountain can be found nearby in the west wall of the Town Hall. Bronze Living Water fountaincan be found next to the Chapel of St. Sarkander. There are also two fountains located near the Main Railway Station, one of which ‘dances’ along to recorded classical music.
  • The Archbishops’ palace on Wurmova Ulice is open to the public just one day per week. It was in this building on 2 December 1848, that [Franz Joseph] acceded to the throne of the [Austro-Hungarian Hapsburg Empire].
Hradisko monastery
Hradisko monastery
  • The Premyslid palace has recently undergone a thorough restoration and now houses the extensive Archdiocese museum. The building is the oldest in Olomouc and much of the original stonework has been exposed. On the upper floors, the circular chapel of St Barbara is a highlight. Entry is 50Kč for adults, but free of charge every Wednesday and Sunday. The museum is closed every Monday.
  • Hradisko Monastery is the oldest in Moravia and its location on the banks of the Morava river, just upstream from the orthodox church, make it a pleasant 20-minute walk from the cathedral end of town. The monastery building has belonged to the military since the monastic order was banned by [Emperor Joseph II] in [1784]. It is now used as a hospital and is open to the public for sightseeing only on Thursdays.
  • Walking tours Perhaps the best thing you can do while in Olomouc is to join up with a walking tour. Olomouc Tours [6] offers walking and cycling tours throughout the year and even a free! introductory tour in July and August. The tours visit little known places like the torture chamber beneath the Sarkander chapel and the old communist party headquarters out near the Morava River.
  • The theatre in the square is home to the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as numerous musicals, operas, and plays. The price for tickets is difficult to beat. Be warned that the dialogue will usually be either in Czech or the original language.
  • The Zoo on the Holy Hill is also worth a visit. It is located near the basilica. There are pointers from the basilica to the ZOO or ask the locals for directions. You can also take the bus line 11 to the terminal station. The ZOO is in woods abundant in edible mushrooms suitable for pleasant walks.
  • The Museum of Modern Art (Muzeum moderního uměni) is the pale grey building across from the baroque Lady Mary of the Snows church. The permanent collection is OK, but the temporary exhibitions are often very interesting and well worth the 50Kc entrance fee (free on Wednesdays and Sundays) There’s a small lookout tower at the top which is included in the entry price of the museum.
Olomouc History Museum
Olomouc History Museum
  • The History and Nature museum (Vlastivědné Muzeum) is housed in the former Clarisian convent on Náměstí Republiky (Republic Square). There are the usual collection of rocks and artifacts, and an interesting exhibit of the flora and fauna of the region, but probably the best things to see are in the old Olomouc section; woodcuts and prints from previous centuries, weapons, armour, traditional dress and many of the original religious figures from older versions of the astronomical clock. The museum is closed every Monday.
  • The Botanic Gardens are in two parts; the outdoor exhibits and rose gardens are across the stream from Bezruč gardens, which is the park below the tall city walls (behind St Michael’s church). The greenhouses are behind the Flora exhibition complex; near where the footbridge goes over the main road to connect the two parks together. The main tropical greenhouse also holds large aquariums and terrariums with a range of alligators, snakes, piranhas, and large furry spiders.
  • City Walls A series of defensive fortifications and moats once completely enclosed Olomouc. The best preserved parts are visible from the Bezruč gardens, below St. Michaels church. The water barracks that today house the Russian and Irish pubs and the 24hr espresso bar were also part of the system. There were also sixteen outlying forts, some of which still exist. Most still belong to the military and are off limits to the public, but one is home to ‘Exit discotheque’, and another is within the grounds of the botanic gardens. Enter just across the mill channel from Bezruč gardens, via the footbridge guarded by the four statues of Hercules.
  • Commercial Art Galleries Czech and Moravian artists produce a lot of very unusual ceramic/pottery pieces and small works of art, which make great original souvenirs or gifts, and there are several shops/galleries in Olomouc filled with them. Some of the best are situated on Ztracena Ulice which heads off the square from the Caesar fountain. Next to Cafe Caesar in the town hall building is Gallery Caesar. It almost always exhibits contemporary art from local Olomouc or Czech artists. Gallery Mona Lisa (also a café), on the corner of the square near the Arion fountain (turtle fountain) is a similar exhibition space focused on contemporary art. In the beautiful Villa Primavesi right next to St Michael’s Church there is another small gallery worth visiting if only for the chance to wander through the entrance hall of this historic house. On the top floor of the local art museum there is a small exhibit about Villa Primavesi, its history and role in the Art Nouveau movement.
The Olomouc Roosters in action
The Olomouc Roosters in action
  • The Ice Hockey stadium is on Hynaisova, behind the supermarket. Olomouc is more of a football than a hockey town, but Ice Hockey is a great spectator sport, a real piece of local life and probably the best two hours’ entertainment you will find for 50Kc.
  • The Letní Kino (summer cinema) is only open in the warmer months and shows films four nights a week, beginning as soon as it gets dark enough. The entrance is from Pekarska Ul. You can’t see the cinema from the street but it’s the same entrance as the mini-golf and you will walk past a large outdoor beer garden before finding the entrance to the cinema. The cinema is an amphitheatre that can hold 3000 people. You can see it quite well on the town model in the main square.
  • Flora OlomoucIn Spring, you should not miss the Flora Fairgrounds and nearby parks full of flowers. Check the Flora Fairgrounds website [7] for information about exhibitions.
  • The Easter Music Festival involves performances of international musicians in the cathedral and largest churches of Olomouc.
  • Academia Film is an international festival of documentary films. Most venues are close to the fine arts faculty of the university, with some being shown outdoors on a screen in the main square.
  • Dvořak's Olomouc is a series of concerts of classical music taking place during May and June. The Moravian Philharmonic and visiting orchestras perform on the square and in the churches.
  • The Song Festival in early May gathers choirs from as far as Singapore and the United States to perform and compete. The choirs often burst spontaneously into song as they walk together around the streets and squares and it's a delighful time to be in Olomouc.
Swedish soldiers loose a volley of musket fire during the city festival
Swedish soldiers loose a volley of musket fire during the city festival
  • Olomouc City Festival in June is ten days of concerts, theatre, sculpture and ceramics demonstrations, a whipped cream battle, and at least two lamplight processions.
Turkish Military Musicians
Turkish Military Musicians
  • The Marshall Radetzky Celebrations on the first weekend of September draw military bands from across Europe to honour the legendary Austrian general, onetime commander of the Olomouc Fortress and subject of Johann Strauss' immortal 'Radetzky March'.
  • International Organ Music Festival is organised by the Moravian Philhamonic Orchestra and takes place in various venues around the city, including on the largest pipe-organ in central Europe-in St Moritz church.
  • Crossroads is a festival of Central European cultural exchange betweens artists, writers, musicians and translators from neighbouring countries. For the public there are readings, films and concerts.
  • Traditional Christmas Markets take over the main square from the beginning of December. There are free concerts every day, roasted chestnuts, mulled wine and and other warming foods and traditional crafts ranging from blacksmith-work to the finest beeswax and honey products.


The traditional cuisine of Olomouc and the surrounding Haná region is an excellent example of Czech cuisine. In addition to more common Czech dishes, it includes some unique local specialties. One of the best known culinary products of the area is the Olomoucké tvarůžky cheese (also called Olomoucké syrečky). This is a traditional (since 15th century) Czech ripened soft cheese with very low fat content, pungent taste and strong odor. The cheese is named after the city of Olomouc, but is produced in Loštice, a small city about 30 km away. Although the cheese is commonly available in stores around the country (and often consumed raw, usually with some beer), you have to visit Haná region to find dishes based on this cheese on restaurant menus. For example, the cheese can be used as a filling in a local variety of Cordon Bleu, or it can be served fried. The dishes containing this cheese can usually be recognized by the word Loštické in their names. Because of the strong odor, do not be surprised when you find some mint sweets (Hašlerka) on your plate.

Garlic soup (česnečka) is available all around the country. The garlic soup of the Haná region (Hanácká česnečka) is one of the best varieties and is usually very strong. If olomoucké tvarůžky are added, the soup is called Loštická česnečka. Because of the combined might of garlic and the strong ripened cheese, it is not recommended if you plan to kiss someone that evening :) On the other hand, garlic is very healthy and you should get some česnečka if you have cold or sore-throat.

Hanácký koláč is the typical sweet cake of the region.

There are dozens of excellent restaurants in the city, and most have English menus. Local favorites include Cafe Caesar, which is in the renaissance Town Hall Building on the main square. Hanacka Hospoda and Pod Limpou are more traditional Moravian Restaurants, and are located in the nearby lower square. On Riegrova Ul. is the Svatovaclavsky Pivovar [8] which has the large vats for making the beer actually by the bar...excellent beer and food, and with an upstairs section reserved for non-smokers.

  • The Hanácká Hospoda (pron-‘hanatska hospoda’) is your best chance to try the traditional food of the region and it comes in big portions, for not much money. They also have a beerhall in the basement but the main restaurant is on street level. The Menu is in the local Hana dialect with a Czech translation, but is also available in English and German. Haná is the name of the culturally unique region surrounding Olomouc, and Hospoda just means pub. An example from the menu is "Chicken-a-la-Duck" Half a roast chicken with cabbage and potato dumplings, for 109Kc (about €4). It is also worth trying some of the dishes containing 'Olomoucké tvarůžky', the traditional cheese of the region. It is on the Lower Square (Dolní náměstí), close to the main square. [9]
Outdoors at Cafe Caesar
Outdoors at Cafe Caesar
  • Cafe Caesar, named after the legendary founder of the city, serves pizzas and pastas and is on the ground floor of the Town Hall. In summer they have a large outdoor area right on the main square, which is the perfect place to pass a gentle summer's evening.
  • Opera, is another good restaurant serving Italian food. It is also located on the main square (Horní náměstí).
"Dinosaur Steak"
"Dinosaur Steak"
  • Cafe 87 is a café famous for its excellent chocolate cakes. In the morning, they also serve excellent breakfasts in English style. It is in the same building as the museum of the modern art.
  • U Andela is one of the best restaurants in Olomouc. The menu and wine list are extensive, and the rear rooms of the restaurant look out from the top of the city walls across the park. The interior is decorated with lots of interesting antiques and hundreds of potted plants. An example from the menu is the "Dinosaur Steak", which is a chicken fillet on top of a pork cutlet on top of a beef steak for 139Kc(about €6).
  • Green Bar is a vegetarian lunch canteen, just a few paces from the main square along Ztracena Ul. It's self serve and the food all costs the same- 169Kc/Kilo. Just load your plate and pass it to the girl at the checkout, she'll weigh it and tell you how much you owe. The food's good, the price is a bargain, and it's Olomouc's best vegetarian option. [10]
Pod Limpou Beerhall & Restaurant
Pod Limpou Beerhall & Restaurant
  • Pod Limpou is a beer hall in a gothic stone cellar that serves traditional Czech specialties like pork knuckle and roast duck, sometimes grilled over the open fire. They also have large outdoor area on the lower square in the summer months, with live music two nights a week. Slovakian Halušky with sheep's cheese 90Kc, Lunch specials including soup from 60Kc.
  • Hlava 21 is a new restaurant on Uhelna Ulice. The space is clean and modern and the well-priced and delicious meals keep the place busy. They also have an extensive selection of cocktails. Chicken with broccoli and steamed vegetables 129Kc.
  • Restaurant Pizza U Jana This is a little way out of the centre, past the Bus Station, but it serves some of the best food in the city, especially the steaks.
  • Restaurant Alley (Restaurant Alley), Michalske stromoradi 5, +420 585 502 999, [11]. The interior is stylish, our pleasant attendants will surely help you in choosing your meals and drinks. We wish your an unforgettable coulinary experience. Lunch specials including soup from 90 CZK.  edit


Wine is the lifeblood of Moravia. Look into any ‘vinarna’ (wine bar) or ‘Vinný sklep’ (wine cellar) and you’ll see an array of characters partaking of the nectar of the vines. Most vineyards are in South Moravia but that has no affect on the drinking abilities of northern Moravians. You can buy good Moravian wine for a picnic from a vinny sklep in plastic bottles that you either bring yourself or you can find there.

If anyone has told you that Moravian wine is inferior to French or German wine, don’t believe them. The taste and aroma of Moravian wines vary from their Western European cousins because they are made from totally different varieties of grapes. Svatovavrinecké is a strong, drier red wine, Modrý Portugal is a medium dry and Frankovka is a sweeter red wine. Good white wines are Muller Thurgau and Veletinské.

Beer The best beer in Olomouc is available from one of the Microbreweries making their own beer on the premises.

  • St Wenceslas Brewery (Svatovaclavsky pivovar) on Riegrova Ul. is a cavernous bar serving five brews including wheat and cherry beer. The walls are covered with murals depicting traditional brewery life and processes and an area is set aside upstairs for non-smokers. The food is also very good and lunch specials start from 60Kc.
  • Moritz is a completely non-smoking microbrewery, which is impeccably furnished in an early 20th century style. Large internal windows allow patrons a view of the brewing room.


  • Vertigo is a great subterranean bar, packed with local and international students, and mock cave paintings on the wall. It’s a good place to meet people because you almost always have to share a table.
  • Jazz Club Tibet has a regular program of concerts. Everything from Jazz to Blues to funk to reggae.[12]
  • 9a is a spotless new bar that is popular with university students. And rockclimbers. There's a climbing wall in one of the back rooms.
  • Rasputin is a Russian themed bar in the water barracks, the long low brick building beside Freedom avenue (Tr.Svobody) which was once part of the city walls.
  • Belmondo is one of the better places in the centre for dancing. Also in the water barracks, there's a cover charge only on Friday and Saturday nights. Regular and visiting DJ's
  • Klub 15 Minut is in the gothic cellars beneath the university library. It's one of the best live music venues in the city.

Hanácká kyselka is a well known natural mineral water of the region. It is healthy and has a refreshing taste. It is a good choice if you do not want to drink alcohol.


You can find really cheap accommodation in the student dorms in the outer suburb of Neredin, between the airport and the cemetery. There are always a few vacant rooms. Unfortunately there is not much information in English about the dorms, but the tourist information office should be able to help.

Another cheap option is the railway station hostel, along the tracks to the north of the main station. The old communist era building is run down, and neither the hostel nor the area around the train station can be recommended for females travelling alone.

  • Poets' Corner Hostel on Sokolska offers the cheapest beds in the centre of Olomouc. An independent hostel that receives consistently high reviews, it is open year round and can be booked on any of the major booking websites, or contact them directly. [13]

Hotel Narodni Dum is another option. The late 19th century building has a lot of history, and during the 2007 reconstruction of the tramlines, there should be not so much of the traffic noise that the hotel's street-facing rooms are sometimes criticised for.

There are several hotels in the city; Hotel Flora, Hotel Lafayette, Hotel Sigma and Hotel Gemo have been around for years, and the Alley Business Hotel is the new kid on the block.

  • Hotel Alley (Business hotel Alley), Michalske stromoradi 5, + 420 585 502 999, [14]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 10:00. Hotel ALLEY**** is situated directly in the heart of the historic centre of Olomouc, in a calm environment of city parks. For a pleasant stay in Olomouc the hotel offers to you first-class accommodation. 2170 CZK. (49° 35' 24.94'' N,17° 15' 22.04'' E) edit
  • Opera café on the main square (Horní náměstí) and probably other restaurants offer wifi access. Ask the waiter for the passphrase.
  • Internet u Dominika is an internet café just north of city center, in Sokolská 12 street (close to the Poet's Corner hostel). Printing (both black and white and photos) and card readers are available.

The mobile network (GSM/GPRS) covers the whole city. If you are coming from a non-GSM standard country (eg. North America) check your mobile phone for GSM compatibility.

Get out

Olomouc is an ideal base for daytrips into the Moravian countryside. Within an hour’s travel by car, bus, train or bicycle there are castles, cave complexes, natural reserves and well-preserved historic towns, including some on the UNESCO world–heritage list.

An enjoyable way of exploring the Olomouc region is by bike. You can rent a bike at the Main Railway station for 150 Kč/day and follow one of many well marked bicycle tracks. Especially good times to visit are Spring, when there are carpets of white flowers everywhere; and Autumn when the birch, linden, ash, oak and maple trees begin to change. Maps of cycling trails are available from tourist information, news stands and bookstores.

Closest to Olomouc and suitable even as half-day trips are Svatý Kopeček (Holy Hill), the Litovelské Pomoraví [é_Pomoraví] protected natural reserve and the swimming holes at Poděbrady and Výkleky.

The Church on Svaty Kopecek
The Church on Svaty Kopecek
  • Svatý Kopeček is the hill that rises up to the east of Olomouc. If you arrive by train from Prague, you’ll have a good view of the building near its peak, which is the Basilica of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary. Surrounded by forest behind the basilica is the Olomouc Zoo [15], which is well respected for its work with more than 50 endangered species, included Rothschild’s Giraffes.
  • The Litovelské Pomoraví nature park stretches from Olomouc to the town of Litovel, 18km away along the Morava River. The walking and cycling trails across the flat flood plains and through the forests are popular with locals and suitable for outings with young children. Near U Tri Mostu (8km from Olomouc) is a clearing with the horseriding ranch and outdoor restaurant Lovecká Chata.
Vykleky Quarry
Vykleky Quarry
  • Poděbrady is a former gravel quarry that has been flooded with fresh water to form Olomouc’s most convenient natural swimming area. Just on the edge of the Litovelské Pomoraví, it’s connected to the city by walking and cycle trails or town bus #18 which stops on the nearby roadside.
  • Swimming at Výkleky A prettier place to go swimming though is the old rock quarry at Výkleky, 18km east of Olomouc. The cycling route is a little complicated, but buses to Lipník stop at Velký Ujezd, a 20-minute walk from Výkleky.

The castles, caves and historic towns are further afield and will require a vehicle or the use of public transport.

Bouzov Castle
Bouzov Castle
  • Bouzov castle (38km west of Olomouc) has stood on its hilltop for almost 700years, but its current appearance is from a reconstruction around the turn of the 20th century. It’s a popular location for filming fairytales, and makes a good daytrip from Olomouc, especially when combined with the nearby Javořicko caves. [16]
  • The Javořicko caves were uncovered in the 1930’s and almost 800m is accessible to the public along concrete paths and steel staircases. No special clothing or equipment is necessary-perhaps just a light jacket. [17]
  • Helfštýn castle (35Km east of Olomouc) is one of the largest castle ruins in central Europe and hosts a wide range of cultural events during the summer, including Hefaiston; the International Blacksmiths’ Seminar and Festival. [18]
Main Square of Kroměříž
Main Square of Kroměříž
  • Kroměříž (35km south of Olomouc along the Morava River) is on the UNESCO world heritage protection list because of its remarkable baroque chateau and formal flower gardens. The chateau was a location for the Academy award winning Miloš Forman film Amadeus and houses some of the Czech Republic’s most valuable artworks. [19]
  • Litomyšl (80km from Olomouc) is one of the Czech Republic’s prettiest small towns and is UNESCO-listed for its renaissance chateau. The chateau is covered with amazingly intricate sgraffito plaster decorations and has one of only five baroque theatres left in the world. Buses from Olomouc to Hradec Králové stop at Litomyšl or you can take the train to Česká Třebova and switch to a local bus from there.

Olomouc is also well connected with the most important Czech cities:

  • Prague (210 km west) is the capital and the largest city of the Czech Republic. Its whole historic city center is on the UNESCO World heritage list and is one of the greatest attractions of Central Europe. The train connection is very good. The fastest trains (Pendolino) need 2 hours and 11 minutes to reach Prague, cheaper Eurocity trains need 2 hours and 46 minutes. Avoid slower trains, as you often can get to Prague sooner with a later but faster train.
  • Brno (65 km southwest) is the capital and the largest city of Moravia (the second largest in the Czech Republic). You can find there several interesting historic monuments. The functionalist Tugendhat Villa is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Direct trains need 1 hour and 31 minutes or 2 hours and 18 minutes to get there. You will be faster using a car (about an hour).
  • Ostrava (80 km northeast) is the third largest city of the Czech Republic. It is an industrial and mining city, interesting for its technical monuments and its famous night-life. About an hour with the fastest trains.
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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

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Proper noun




  1. A city in the Czech Republic, capital of the Olomouc Region.


Simple English

Olomouc (-Czech) is the fifth largest city in the Czech Republic. About 100,000 people live there. It is located in the center of the historical region Moravia.

There are many churches and historical buildings. There is beautiful Holy Trinity Column in the centre. UNESCO have this column in the list "UNESCO World Heritage Sites". There is a nice astronomical clock.

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