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.
The Chapel of St. Anne is a single-nave building located near the northwest corner of the St.Wenceslas Cathedral. The core of the building is an early Gothic structure, originally consecrated to St. John the Baptist, and built by cathedral building works in 1268. A chapel of the same name was later built on the grounds of the adjoining Bishop’s Palace.
The Chapel of St. Anne is first mentioned in 1349. The original chapel was rebuilt for the rare Přemyslid shrine with the arm of St. Anne between the years 1306-1349. The Olomouc chapter acquired the shrine following the assassination of King Wenceslaus III. in Olomouc in 1306.
The Chapel of St. Anne is in fact a rectorate church. Since the late 17th century it has served as the election place of the Olomouc bishops and archbishops. The right of electing the bishop was acquired by the Olomouc chapter from King Ottokar I. back in 1207. An overall reconstruction in a Mannerist style was completed in 1617. The construction work was financed by the then provost of the chapter and general vicar Martin Wenzel von Greifenthal and was related to the activities of the brotherhood of St. Anne, renewed in 1581 by the Jesuit church. The Brotherhood was personally supported the then bishop and builder of the new presbytery of St.Wenceslas Cathedral – the Cardinal Franz von Dietrichstein. Today it is no longer possible to see the chapel in its full beauty as in 1617, as she lost its whole southern span during a Neo-Gothic reconstruction of the frontage of St.Wenceslas Cathedral. A Mannerist portal with coat of arms of Bishop Dietrichstein and a marble relief of The Virgin and Child with St. Anne were brought over on the new historicist frontage.