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Olomouc, Czech Republic

Olomouc is one of the most interesting and most important cities in Czech Republic. Its Old Town is very extensive and only the Old Town in Prague is bigger in Czech Republic. The main architectural styles are baroque and renaissance. It is worth to visit this city to become familiar with its beautiful monuments. The time spent here will certainly not be lost. You can easily spend a few days here without getting bored just visiting interesting places in the city and its surroundings.


Parking in Olomouc

Olomouc is an important road junction, so arriving to the city is not a problem. There is a D46 motorway going through the city, which smoothly changes to D1 leading up to the Polish-Czech border near Ostrava. Just enter the highway, and after about an hour you are already in Olomouc. We decided to drive to the center of the town and we stopped in the parking lot at "1. máje" street, at the Republic Square (nám. Republiky) (P1; GPS: 49.596089, 17.257688). The parking is paid.

About 100 meters from this fairly small parking lot you can however find a very large, multi-storey car park "Central Parking" (Koželužská street, P2; GPS: 49.597199, 17.257564). The price of this parking lot is 20 CZK/hour.

An alternative to the above approach is to skip the highway and drive local roads through Opava, Šternberk, and then enter Olomouc by road 446 - thanks to this we avoid the crowded entrance to Olomouc from the highway and we do not have to "break through" the center - access to the "Central Parking" is perfect here!


The Upper Square - Horní náměstí

The historic center is the most interesting area to explore, so we first head the Upper Square (Horní náměstí) (A; GPS: 49.593836, 17.250933). There is a beautiful building of theTown Hall (B; GPS: 49.593813, 17.251459) from 14th century and awesome Trinity Column (C; GPS: 49.593933, 17.250440) (largest in Europe) - since 2000 it is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

On the one of the walls of the town hall there is very interesting astronomical clock (D; GPS: 49.594020, 17.251406) from the fifteenth century, rebuilt several times. The current appearance is the result of modifications from 1955, so the clock is made in the style of socialist realism - we can see, for example, figurines of workers, etc. However, it would be worth returning to the original state of the first half of the twentieth century, which was much more interesting.


The city is also famous for its fountains: in the Upper Square we can admire the Fountain of Caesar (E; GPS: 49.593985, 17.252148) from 1725 and the Hercules Fountain (F; GPS: 49.594194, 17.251059) from 1687, as well as more modern Arion Fountain (G; GPS: 49.593436, 17.251102).

You can often find various shows or happenings on the square. Once we came here for the annual wine spring festival with shows of folkloric dances and songs of Moravia (Olomoucké vinné slavnosti).

Nearby the Upper Square, on its northern side, there is the late-Gothic, three-nave church of St. Maurice with two asymmetrical towers (H; GPS: 49.595071, 17.251153).


The Lower Square - Dolní náměstí

Olomouc has also a second market square called the Lower Square (Dolní náměstí) (I; GPS: 49.591937, 17.253165). It is located about 100 meters south-east of the Upper Square. On the Lower Market we can admire two more interesting fountains: the Neptune fountain (J; GPS: 49.5925242, 17.2523553) from 1683, which is the oldest of all baroque fountains in the city, as well as the Jupiter fountain (K; GPS: 49.5918181, 17.2532914) from 1707 year.

There is also an interesting Marian column from the baroque period (L; GPS: 49.592175, 17.252788) from the 18th century.

The entire Lower Market Square is surrounded by historic tenement houses, among them we can particularly distinguish the Haueschild Palace (M; GPS: 49.591914, 17.252414) - it is one of the most beautiful Renaissance buildings in the whole city, erected in 1583.

Chapel of St. Jan Sarkander

After visiting both squares, we walk the Mahlerova Street towards the Republica Square. On the way we pass a very interesting chapel of St. Jan Sarkander (N; GPS: 49.5945392, 17.2543214), built on the site of a former prison in which Jan Sarkander - priest, martyr, saint of the Catholic Church, patron of Moravia and Silesia - was tortured in 1620. The chapel itself was built at the beginning of the 18th century and then was rebuilt in 1909-1912. In front of it there is a fountain called "The Source of Living Water of St. Jan Sarkander" in an interesting architectural form, as well as a monument to saint John of Nepomuk.


The Republic Square

At the Republic Square there is a baroque church of Our Lady of the Snow (O; GPS: 49.5955544, 17.2562956) built by the Jesuits in 1712-1719. In the square itself (right next to the previously mentioned parking lot P1) we see another, nice Triton fountain made in 1709. Of course, the inspiration for it was the Fountain of Triton (Italian Fontana del Tritone) in Rome (interestingly, as in the case of the same named fountain in Polish town Nysa).


The university district

Olomouc boasts a fairly large university area where the Palacký University is located - it's the oldest university in Moravia and the second-largest in the whole of the Czechia (after the Charles University in Prague). It was founded in 1573. We walk the Křížkovského street and see numerous and nice university buildings (P; GPS: 49.595106, 17.259751). We were also allowed to enter one of the gates and make some footages of the inner courtyard.


The Olomouc fortress and the barracks

The Olomouc fortress (Q; GPS: 49.5930925, 17.2582481) was built in the mid-18th century as part of the Olomouc fortifications and served as the main entrance to the city. The fortress walls consist of a pentagonal bastion and two half-bastions. There are also buildings of former barracks. Currently it serves as a palace to learn about the history of the Olomouc fortress and for various cultural performances.

The Bezručovy Sady park

The Bezručovy Sady park was founded at the end of the 19th century, with the first promenade with trees created after 1835. It is the longest and youngest of the three main parks in Olomouc, in the style of English Romanticism.

There is very interesting building located in the park: it is the Yugoslavian Mausoleum (R; GPS: 49.5946258, 17.2566433) from 1926. It contains the remains of about 1200 Yugoslavian soldiers died in Moravia and Silesia during the First World War and is on the list of cultural monuments in the Czech Republic. In the second half of 2019 the complete renovation of this important monument was completed (our footages show the status from before the renovation).

In addition, the park has (since 1960) an interesting botanical garden and rosarium. Along the entire park we can see city walls with numerous towers and four entrances to the city center.

Saint Wenceslas Cathedral

There is beautiful Saint Wenceslas Cathedral (S; GPS: 49.597819, 17.262240) from the twelfth century with more than 100-meter tower on the other side of the Old Town. It was founded in 1107 so it was a Romanesque church, but after a fire in 1265 it was completely rebuilt in the Gothic style. It is a unique architectural and religious monument. Next to the cathedral we can find the Archbishop's Palace, which houses the museum. There's also interesting statue of St. John of Nepomuk from the 18th century.


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