Olomouc at the top

Three years, three excellent awards by the world’s prestigious guidebook. Lonely Planet made a list of the most beautiful, yet lesser known tourist destinations. It wasn’t the hot springs of Iceland, Gibraltar Rocks, Odysseus' Ithaca or Luxemburg that ranked in first place but the historical center of Olomouc!

The mini guidebook, Secret Europe, presents tourists with fifty cities from different parts of Europe. The largest, world-renowned guidebook publisher attracts tourists to Olomouc by saying that “in terms of tourism Olomouc can be equated to an authentic restaurant which is your own, small, personal secret. The Main Square is amongst the most enchanting in the country. It is surrounded by historical buildings. It is adorned by the Holy Trinity Column listed as the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage. Magnificent churches, many of which host an exciting history, are scattered in the streets of the historical center. Explore the foundations of the ancient Olomouc castle in the Archdiocese Museum which is a must-see and then set out to one of the many pubs or mini-breweries”. In 2012, the publisher also awarded Olomouc by ranking it in the top ten most beautiful hidden treasures in Europe. One year later it was once again on the list of the recommended destinations in Moravia. “It’s beautiful as well as surprising for us. Lonely Planet is to tourist guidebooks what Michelin is to gastronomy. I perceive it as a win in the tourist Olympics,” responded Olomouc mayor, Martin Major, when he first heard of the award. “I am very pleased that the professional editor-in-chief of this publication truly appreciates the beauty of our city, its picturesque atmosphere and its uniqueness.

Apart from other things, Olomouc captivated them by the fact that it offers the same architectural treasures as Prague but without the crowds of tourists. It is definitely Olomouc’s advantage in comparison with our capital. However, despite repeated acclaim from the renowned guidebook, it may only be temporary”, mentioned the mayor, Major, with a smile. The deputy mayor, Jan Holpuch added, “I believe that this is an opportunity to introduce our beautiful city to many other tourists.” “I think that being awarded as a hidden treasure or undiscovered city will give Olomouc an even stronger stamp of attractiveness and will evoke more interest in potential visitors.”

Olomouc has been trying to advertise its beauty in a high-quality and systematic way. In the past years, this attempt has proved effective. Statistically as well as simply looking into the streets of the city center confirms that the number of tourists to Olomouc has truly increased. Olomouc is on the list of destinations offered by travel agencies as for example, one-day trips from Prague or as a part of the Vienna – Krakow route. “Greater advertising in cooperation with the agency CzechTourism certainly helped.

This agency gives Olomouc more space than before”, says Karin Vykydalová, head of the tourism department. “Acclaim from Lonely Planet obviously helps. Ideally, a visitor comes here based on the recommendation, is satisfied here and then recommends Olomouc to his friends back home”, adds Dušan Gavenda of the same department. Lonely Planet Secret Europe can be downloaded for free at: www.lonelyplanet.com/secret-europe.

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Histoire de la ville


La période romane à Olomouc

Le rattachement de la Moravie à l’état prémyslide de Bohême a été un élément important de l’histoire de la ville. Le premier prince apanagé de Moravie qui s’est installé à Olomouc en 1030 était Bretislav, fils du prince de Bohême Oldrich.

Bretislav et son épouse ont vécu à Olomouc, où est né leur premier fils Spytihněv. La première mention du “château d’Olomouc” date en effet de 1055 et de la Chronique de Cosmas. A partir de cette date Olomouc est devenue le centre des trois nouvelles principautés d’apanage, celles d’Olomouc, de Brno et de Znojmo.

Les débuts de l’évêché d’Olomouc

Dans les premiers temps du moyen-âge s’est installé à Olomouc en 1063 l’évêché de Moravie, et en 1078 le premier monastère indépendant de Moravie. Le premier évêque d’Olomouc était le moine de Brevnov Jean, les bénédictins de la communauté de Brevnov ayant été les premiers occupants du monastère nouvellement fondé. En 1126 le siège de l’épiscopat d’Olomouc est revenu à Henri Zdík, fils prétendu du chroniqueur Cosmas et de sa femme Božetěcha, politique, diplomate et homme de culture.

Ce dernier avait ramené de Palestine avec lui des artistes qui ont travaillé à la construction du siège épiscopal des Zdyk, achevé aux environs de 1141 et dont la riche décoration conservée jusqu’à aujourd’hui n’a pas d’équivalent dans les pays tchèques. Le prince de Bohême Venceslas lui a confié en 1130 la construction de la cathédreale Saint Venceslas, commencée sous Svatopluk, père de Venceslas, peu avant 1107. Henri Zdík a déplacé l’évêché depuis Saint-Pierre, jusqu’à la cathédrale et a installé à côté de celle-ci le chapitre cathédral.