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.
Horní náměstí (Upper Square)
Town Hall's archway
779 11 Olomouc
Opening hours: daily 9:00am –7:00pm
Tel.: (+420) 585 513 385, 392
Olomouc region Card
Olomouc Region Card is a tourist discount card that allows you to visit Olomouc significant savings. Its purchase to make sure you completely discounted or free admission.
Fort Science is an interactive scientific museum of the Palacky University in Olomouc. Its goal is to introduce all age groups to science and research in an entertaining way. It is located in an architecturally and historically unique building, a former military warehouse from the 19th century, which has been successfully transformed into an advanced science centre. Visitors to the Fortress get entertained and educated through interactive science exhibits and a digital planetarium. Thanks to its unique atmosphere, where rich history meets dynamic present, the Fortress of knowledge offers an inspiring environment where the general public, students and employees of the Palacky University can get together.
Exhibitions at the Fortress of Knowledge:
Science in the Fortress
What the Fortress was like at a time when it served as refuge not for science but troops? We will let you know through various sections of a large and rich exhibition. You will learn about trades, health care, construction, ballistics and cartography. Starring the erratic 18th century and the army, which has always had an easy access to the latest scientific and technical know-how. You will also enjoy the landmark of the exhibition in the form of a humorous comic’s story on twelve large-size panels. It tells the story of the birth of the Olomouc fortress and engagingly summarizes events, where even Maria Theresa and Emperor Franz Joseph I appear.
Dive into a riverbed and examine in detail the water flow from the spring down to the river mouth. You will be amazed by the sheer dominance of the river in nature and, of course, you will learn about its inhabitants, such as hermit crabs, a family of snails, swift longtail tadpole shrimps or mysterious fairy shrimps. Definitely do not miss the model of a fascinating undersea limestone cave, where 15 kinds of rare animals are awaiting you! You will experience the “living water” firsthand once you decide to try out the flood model of Olomouc. Are you really sure you know how a large flooding would affect our city?
Collect your wits
Would you like to learn all about the basic principles of human knowledge? You can enter (with up to 7 other people!) into an eight meter large brain model and get answers to all your questions. A neural network in all its complex glory will appear in front of you via light projection. This exhibition will surely make your head spin. Is this still not enough? Then there's the tricky mathematical part of the exhibition, featuring, among others, a model of the famous Enigma cipher machine or an original wooden 3D Tic Tac Toe game. Overwhelmed by this, you can dare to try out a device used even on the International Space Station - the so-called gyroscope, whose rotating will either fully throw you off balance or propel you into an elevated state of mind.
Light and darkness
How do we see the world around us? You will find the answers in an exhibition dedicated to the basic principles of light. All the attention goes to the seven-meter large dome of the digital planetarium allowing you to rise right into the centre of the cosmic ocean. During the flight through the cosmos you will greet the stars and all the planets and get familiar with various astronomical phenomena.
Keep your eyes open, because when you come back to earth, you can visit a unique model of an eyeball. You will get to know in detail the construction of your own eye and you will try to see the world through the eyes of a fly or a dragonfly.
More at www.pevnostpoznani.cz