The beauty of the Czech Republic is not only about Prague. In order to feel the spirit of the country it is even better to include other destinations into the must-visit list and Olomouc is a good choice. In this article we will find out its history, main attractions and what to do here, where to stay, best restaurants.
It occupies only 100 square kilometers but owns a huge number of monuments of antiquity, architectural masterpieces and other places of interest.
The Holy Trinity Column
It is probably the first point where tourists get acquainted with the city. This column is 32 meters in height and represents a whole group of sculptural buildings in the Baroque style, which includes 18 sculptures of saints, 12 figures of torchbearers, as well as 6 relief images of the apostles located on three levels. It was erected in honor of the end of the plague epidemic in the 18th century and in 2001 it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Olomouc is famous for its fountains and long time ago they were of another value. During the Middle Ages, they served as a source of water for the city’s population. Even with the appearing of the water supply system in Europe the authorities didn’t dismantled them. They decided to keep that beauty as attractions.
These gorgeous structures were made by the best local masters in the baroque style and serve as a wonderful decoration of streets and squares.
The fortress is well-known throughout the world. It is located on the Wenceslas hill and includes:
- the church of St. Wenceslas – a striking example of Gothic architecture performed by Czech masters;
- partially survived the Episcopal Palace;
- the chapel of St. Anne, in which local bishops and archbishops were elected;
- the Archdiocesan Museum – the initiative of founding which belongs to the Pope John Paul II.
Interesting fact, that long time ago young Mozart, Mother Teresa and the Pope himself visited this place.
Town Hall and Chimes
Another famous architecture sight in Olomouc is Town Hall. Nowadays it is also a home for the city’s authorities. The façade is decorated with chimes of an unusual architectural frame and design. A peculiar frame of the clock forms a niche in the form of a pointed arch with the medallion mosaics adorning the sides. The images represent certain types of agricultural work, which correspond to a certain season.
The author of the watch tried to reflect the life of the city of that time. That is why a tourist will see the image of the working class. On the upper part of the mosaic the motive of the Procession of the Kings.
If you love great architecture it will be interesting to visit the palace of Hauenschild, built in the Renaissance style. The original arches were in the Gothic style as well as rich stone decorations of the 16th century. In addition, it also contained a special hall for theatrical performances. Amadeus Mozart with his family has also visited it.
A fine example of the fortification art of the 14th century is the fortress of Bouzov, originally served to protect the city from external enemies. Then it turned into a summer residence of the Order of the German Knights. The fortress is located in a picturesque place, which makes it popular with filmmakers.
It is worth noting that the romantic atmosphere, medieval interiors, richly decorated rooms and unique furniture of those times create the atmosphere of a real medieval castle.
The castle is about 30 kilometers north-west of Olomouc. In the building you can find almost all the elements of the romantic castle: moat, battlements, drawbridges, bastions. And even a watchtower eight stories high.
- Child: 100 CZK;
- Adult: 150 CZK.
- April, October – Monday-Sunday: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
- May, September – Tuesday-Sunday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- June – Tuesday – Sunday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- July, August – Tuesday – Sunday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
In the 1950s the main city park had a small zoological area, which contained several species of mammals and birds, characteristic of the Czech Republic. However, there also were parrots and peacocks, which attracted a lot of attention. Consequently, the authorities thought about building of the zoo.
The zoo was formed in 1953. Now it is one of the most favorite places for rest of residents and guests of Olomouc. Here you can see representatives of both local and exotic fauna: giraffes, kangaroos, lemurs, Ussuri tigers and so on. In addition, the zoo is also engaged in the breeding of rare species. For example, employees of the zoo participate in various breeding programs. It also includes those related to reproduction of herons and mountain goats.
In the center of the zoo stands an observation tower, from which you can see the territory of this park from a height. There is also an aquarium with small reef sharks.
The Historical Museum of Olomouc
The historical museum of Olomouc is a cultural institution with a rich history. It appeared as a result of the merge of several museum collections. Nowadays the museum owns about one million exhibits, which makes it the largest museum in the Czech Republic. The historical museum was founded in 1883 by anthropologists, historians, archaeologists. In those days the it was called Ethnographic.
At the moment there are several permanent exhibitions in the halls of the museum:
- Nature of the Olomouc Region;
- Olomouc – the City of the Fifteen Centuries;
- University of Olomouc;
- From the Cradle to the Grave;
- Famous People of the Olomouc Region;
- History of the Stone.
This displays the history of the city, the Olomouc Region and the whole Moravia. That is why you can learn more about ethnography, archeology, mineralogy, zoology, art history, local industry, traditional crafts and so on.
The owner of the building decided to rebuild two houses that stood on this exactly place in the Gothic style. Besides, he renovated the facades and united the buildings into one, creating an inner courtyard. The final look was in the Renaissance.
In 1725-1734 there was another repair, during which the palace received the baroque appearance. To make the structure still more majestic, architecture erected a wide castle staircase.
Dum U Zlateho jelena (Golden deer house)
Long time ago there were not any names and numbers of the streets. To identify a house among many others, the owners decorated facades with some kind of a memorable sign, an image of an animal or an object. A deer sign appeared on the house, thanks to one of the owners of the mansion, whose surname was translated as “deer”.
The house “The Golden Deer” was built by a rich merchant on the site of several ancient buildings. This mansion is one of the 15 houses that have the common name “Under the rich shops.” For the first time the mention in the literature of this house was in the distant 1362 year.
Cathedral of St. Wenceslas
This cathedral rises more than 100 meters in height and is the fourth tallest building in the Czech Republic. Speaking about religious themes, then it is second after the St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague. Originally the building had a Romanesque design, but the restoration of the 19th century brought neo-Gothic style. The internal layout of St. Wenceslas Cathedral remains unchanged since the Middle Ages.
To the south of Olomouc there is a wonderful Moravian town Kroměříž with an excellent “collection” of historical buildings. The most famous of them is the Kroměříž castle with the same name, which, along with the beautiful baroque gardens, consists in the list of objects that were protected by UNESCO.
Cuisine and restaurants of Olomouc
The city is famous for its cottage cheese delicacy, which is an absolute necessary to try. The technology of making has not changed since the 16th century. But for this there are many wonderful places where you can try cuisine from all over the world.
- Plan B (Address: Palachova nam 1);
- Restaurace Drapal (Address: Havlickova 1);
- Sal de Mar (Address: Legionarska 21);
- Hostinsky pivovar Moritz (Address: Nesverova 2);
- Black Stuff (Address: 1 maje 19);
- Svatovaclavsky Pivovar (Address: Marianska 4);
- Moravska Restaurace (Address: Horni nam 23);
- Atmosphere Restaurant (Address: Galerie Santovka, Polska 1);
- Café La Fee (Address: Ostruznicka 13);
- Entrée Restaurant (Address: Ostravska 1).
Where to stay
Olomouc is a student city, while here is one of the oldest universities in the country Palacký University. Therefore, you can always spend the night in one of the student hostels. Besides, there are many excellent hotels and apartments for rent.
How to get from Prague to Olomouc
Here is the instruction of how to reach the destination. Check the time and dates and have a great time in this amazing city.
Prague – Olomouc by bus
The route by bus takes 3 hours 45 minutes and tickets cost about 14-24 Euro. At the Prague Main station take the bus line 913 to the Olomouc station.
Prague – Olomouc by train
Take the train from the Prague train station and you will get to Olomouc in 2.10 hours. The ticket price is about 8-13 Euro. Train departs 5 times a day. Here you will find details and can buy tickets.
Prague – Olomouc by car
The distance is 283 kilometers and it will take 3 hours to cover it and 25 liters of fuel, which is about 35 Euro. However, this is the most comfortable way.
Main sights in Olomouc review
As you could see there are many architecture and historic sights of great value. Going to the city do not forget to include them into your to-do list, and we hope that our article will help you with it. Besides, to get the most exciting time there, we recommend you to go with an experienced local guide.