Olomouc, the new host city of PBR

24. srpen 2016

Olomouc is one of the most attractive cities in Central Europe, „Europe’s hidden gem“ according to the international travel guide publisher Lonely Planet, the pearl of Moravia and for centuries its historical epicentre.

The magic of this place is the way the past comes to life. Olomouc was once the seat of powerful ruling families, whose fates were decided the day King Wenceslas III, the last ruler of the Czech Přemyslid dynasty, was murdered. The bishopric was established here in the 11th century and King Matthias Corvinus first sat on the throne within its palace. In 1848 the longest serving European ruler, Austrian emperor Franz Joseph I, did the same. The Olomouc Archbishop’s palace is the only publicly accessible residence of a serving bishop in Central Europe.

Olomouc’s eventful past has bequeathed the city a grand collection of historical treasures which make Olomouc the second most important conservation area in the Czech Republic after Prague. It can pride itself on several unique features such as the Town Hall’s Socialist Realist Astronomical Clock and the largest Baroque sculptural group – the Holy Trinity Column – an unmissable sight and since the year 2000 one that features on UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage list. In addition to the Town Hall the city centre is also adorned with a unique set of six Baroque fountains featuring mythological sculpture groups. Among the figures you’ll see is Gaius Julius Caesar, the legendary founder of Olomouc. This set is complimented by the modern Arion’s Fountain – the work of Olomouc native, Ivan Theimer.

One of Olomouc’s unmissable locations is Wenceslas Hill, home to the so-called Olomouc Castle which is ringed with especially well preserved buildings. The almost thousand-year-old palace with richly decorated Romanesque windows, the neo-Gothic pomp of the Cathedral of St Wenceslas and the remarkable Archdiocesan Museum leave an impression on all who visit.

The city’s history also attracts military enthusiasts as Olomouc was for centuries an important imperial fortress and the site of several battles. The local garrison was commanded by the famous Marshal Radetzky and the city’s military past has left a ring of forts around it, some of which are now open to the public. Remains of the city‘s time as a fortress can be seen in the centre in the shape of the monumentally decorative relief on the Theresian Gate and the huge area of the Crown Fortress, now a popular cultural centre.

Today Olomouc is a city of students and entertainment, the seat of a long-established university (the second oldest in the country), an archbishopric, a philharmonic orchestra, many museums, theatres and clubs as well as countless interesting events and festivals including the famous traditional flower exhibitions.

Source of this article is Olomouc Tourism Department.

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