Olomouc Tourist Attractions
Olomouc is one of the larger cities in the Czech Republic and one of the most important in Northern Moravia. The town dates to the 10th Century and has some beautiful old architecture and is home to the second oldest university in the Czech Replubic. Olomouc also promotes it's active arts and cultural scene and is home to the Moravian Theatre, the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra, and numerous museums and galleries. The old town is centered around two main squares, Horni namesti and Colni namesti. This is where visitors will find some of the town's most interesting buildings and sights.Today the town of Olomouc is an industrial city but retains much of its historic character. Wide open boulevards and squares, along with parks and green spaces, make this a very enjoyable city to spend a few days exploring.
One of Olomouc's two main squares is Horni namesti, also referred to as the upper square. This often busy square is home to some unique buildings and monuments. The baroque Holy Trinity Column, built in the mid 18th Century is the largest column in the Czech Republic, standing 35m / 115ft tall. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, noted for its "baroque artistic expression". The Holy Trinity Column was designed by Ondrej Zahner from Moravia, and is adorned with religious carvings. It was built to commemorate victims of the plague.Also on the Horni namesti square in Olomouc is the Renaissance town hall (Radnice). The town hall contains an astronomical clock, which was destroyed during World War II but rebuilt shortly after. Much like the Old Town Hall in Prague, the clock features a parade of figures that come out in procession at the top of the hour. Also of note on the square is the 19th Century theater in neo-classical style, designed by Josef Kornhausel.
Plumlov Chateau is one of the more unusual styles of chateaus in all of the Czech Republic. Set on a small lake this building speaks to the folly of one man - Prince-Bishop karl Eusebius von Liechtenstein-Kastlekorn. His original plans called for four towers, however only one was built.Plumlov Chateau was built in the middle of the 17th Century and is particularly noted for the beautiful column and stucco decorations. It is also worth a visit to the chateau just for its strange architecture which looks like it could fall down the hill that it is built upon at any moment.If you are visiting Bouzov castle, the chateau is located approximately 32km / 20mi southeast.
Cathedral of St Wenceslas
The Cathedral of St Wenceslas in Olomouc was built in the 12th Century but retains little of that original Romanesque structure. Most of what is visible today dates from a reconstruction done in the late 19th Century, which saw the building transformed into a baroque style. The Cathedral of St Wenceslas, named for the patron saint of the Czech Republic, is also significant for a number of historical events that have taken place here over the centuries. The Hungarian King Matthias Korvinus was proclaimed the Czech King here in 1469.Next to the Cathedral is the old Bishop's Palace, which is also open to the public for visits.
The Dolni namesti square, known as the lower square, in Olomouc is just south of the upper square, Horni namesti. Here visitors will find the Neptune fountain, designed by Michael Mandik and Vaclav Schuller. This is the oldest of six baroque fountains built in Olomouc. Also of note on Dolni namesti is the Renaissance Hauenschild Palace and the Gothic Church of St Moritz. The Church of St Moritz (St Maurice) dates to the early 15th Century, although a church stood on this spot prior to that time. It is a national cultural monument, and is noteworthy not only for the structure but also for the 1745 organ it contains.
Do not let the town's Nazi past deter you from visiting the Bouzov Castle. Just 3.5km / 2mi from the small town that bears its name, this castle will impress even the most castle weary tourist. Before beginning your tour, be sure to climb the 61m / 200 ft tower to get a great overview of the layout of the castle.Bouzov Castle was first begun in and around the 12th Century and completed approximately 17 years later. The castle fell into disrepair throughout the 17th and 18th Centuries until late in the 19th Century when Archduke Eugenius ordered its renovation. Over a five year span the castle was completely renovated into late German Gothic style. Well endowed with multiple towers, balconies, and even a drawbridge, the castle has a fairytale appearance. Inside, the castle is lavishly appointed with beautiful antique furniture, chandeliers, and interesting decorations on the walls. It was this high level of comfort which attracted the Nazis to Bouznov during World War Two. During the war, the occupiers took over the castle and lived in luxury while the people suffered.
Church at Holy Hill, Svaty Kopecek
Church or chateau? Visitors may find themselves asking that very question when they visit the Church at Holy Hill in Svaty Kopecek. This large baroque church has much to offer visitors including a feature not often found at churches - a large zoo! The zoo has a wide variety of animals from koalas right up to large cats. There is also a bat cave and a butterfly house.In 1995 Svaty Kopecek was deemed to be a basilica minor and is now considered to be a pilgrimage place of European significance. The church set on a hill, hence the name Church at Holy Hill, is painted yellow and white and has almost a baroque look to it.The interior of the church is even more ornate than the exterior. Here visitors will find ornate frescoes, musical cherubs, and ornate wall carvings. Whether you are on a pilgrimage or not, there is an array of restaurants and souvenir sellers just outside the church.
Map of Olomouc Attractions