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Olomouc

Country
Czech Republic
State
Olomouc
City
Olomouc
Type of Location
Multiple
About Location

Olomouc 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.Olomouc contains several large squares, the chief of which is adorned with the Holy Trinity Column, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.The column is 115 ft (35 m) high and was built between 1716 and 1754.The most prominent church is Saint Wenceslas cathedral. At the end of the 19th century it was rebuilt in the neo-Gothic style, but it kept many features of the original church, which had been rebuilt many times (Romanesque crypt, Gothic cloister, Baroque chapels).The highest of its three spires is 328 ft (100 m). The church is close to the Romanesque Bishop's Palace (often incorrectly called the Premyslid Palace), a 12th century Romanesque building (image).The real Přemyslid Palace, i.e. the residence of Olomouc members of the governing Premyslid Dynasty, used to stand nearby.

Saint Maurice Church, a fine Gothic building of the 15th century and Saint Michael's Church are also worth mentioning.The Neo-baroque chapel of Saint John Sarkander stands on the site of a former town prison. Catholic priest John Sarkander was imprisoned here at 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 torture 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 Svaty Kopecek ("The Holy Hill"), a part of Olomouc lying on a hill, with the magnificent Baroque church of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary looking down on 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 in an uncommon Socialist Realist style (the original look from 15th century was destroyed at the end of the World War II and reconstructed in 1947-1955 by Karel Svolinsky).The university, the oldest in Moravia and second oldest in the Czech Republic, was founded in 1573 as part of effort to reestablish Roman Catholicism in the country: roughly nine out of ten inhabitants of the Czech Crown lands were Protestants at the time. Most of its faculties were suppressed in 1850s by the Habsburg régime in retaliation for the professors' and students' support for the 1848 revolution and the Czech National Revival.The university was restored in 1946 and renamed Palacky University of Olomouc.

Olomouc is also proud of its six Baroque fountains.The fountains survived in such number thanks to the 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 the 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). In the 21st century, an Arion fountain was added to the main square, inspired by the older project.The Palacky University of Olomouc plays very important role in the life of the town: with over 25,200 students (including those at Moravian College Olomouc) Olomouc has the highest density of university students in Central Europe. Many of the town's services are student-oriented and close not only during holidays, but also during the university exam periods. During the summer holiday even the trams run solo (apart from rush-hours), while during the rest of the year the lines are served by two coupled trams. The University buildings comprise about a third of the town's heritage centre; notable ones include the University Art Centre and the Armoury.



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How to Reach

By Air

The closest major airport is Brno-Turany Airport (BRQ / LKTB).This airport has international and domestic flights from Brno, Czech Republic and is about 63 km from the center of Olomouc,Czech Republic.

By Train

Fast trains (category R) are useless at this route, they're slower and cost the same as IC/EC.Regular fare is CZK 310, extra people in a group (of 2 or more) pay CZK 156, SporoTiket is CZK 220-280.Beware of some fast trains (category R) from Ostrava to Olomouc, they go longer way through Jeseníky mountains for more than 3 hours.Long distance trains stop at Olomouc Main station.Krakow the only direct train is a night train Silesia arriving in Olomouc at 4:45AM.Other connections require at least two changes.

By Bus

Student Agency operate buses between Prague and Olomouc, but they are much slower than trains, because their route leads all the way down to Brno, before turning up towards Prague.

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 Kc 100.

Key places to visit
Church of Saint Maurice, Museum of Yugoslav Soldiers, Holy Trinity Column, Astronomical clock, Bezrucovy Sady


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Places to Visit

Church of Saint Maurice

Is a Roman Catholic church in Olomouc, Czech Republic.It is located in the city centre, near the Upper Square and remains one of the most important landmarks of the city.The church has been designated a National Cultural Landmark by the government in 1995.The southern tower serves as a lookout tower with view on the whole city of Olomouc and surroundings.The Church of Saint Maurice has arched triple-nave. The church organ from 1740-1745 are the largest in Central Europe.They were constructed by organist Michael Engler.

Museum of Yugoslav Soldiers

Is a neoclassical chapel with an ossuary containing remains of Yugoslav soldiers killed in the First World War.It was built in 1926 in the Bezruč's Park in Olomouc, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) by the Czechoslovak-Yugoslav League. The designer of the chapel was architect Hubert Aust.The mausoleum was owned by Yugoslavia until its breakup. Nowadays it is partly damaged, but renovation has been prevented because of unclear property rights.The mausoleum is in a bad condition due to both natural effects and vandalism, and therefore it is not open to the public. The stairs and electrical wiring are in the greatest disrepair. Frescoes of saints painted in the Byzantine style are also partly damaged.

Holy Trinity Column

A good place to begin is the main 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.

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.

Bezrucovy 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.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 Svaty Kopecek from stand 'E' in front of the railway station.

Right Time to Visit

January - April
June - September

Temperature

Information not available


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