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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Information Centre

Informační centrum

i Horní náměstí (Upper Square)
Town Hall's archway
779 11 Olomouc

Opening hours: daily 9:00am –7:00pm
Tel.: (+420) 585 513 385, 392



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Olomouc region Card

Olomouc Region Card

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City History

1. díl
2. díl

City of Olomouc, Palacky University in Olomouc

1. / 2. volume


2x600 pages, hardcover with jacket
Released: March 2010

Price: CZK 550


A detailed history of the city was recently compiled in 2 volumes commissioned by the City of Olomouc and created by Univerzita Palackého.

The book is an academic treatment of Olomouc history from its inception to the present. The two-volume edition, which is offered as a whole, is available at well-established booksellers or in the Information Centre.

Olomouc, today a city of more than one hundred thousand citizens, is located in the heart of the Haná region. It has been one of the most important Czech cities from of old. Its history started many centuries ago...

Olomouc history in a nutshell

  • already in the early Middle Ages, Olomouc was one of the main centres of Moravia and a princely seat
  • in the 11th century, a Diocese was established and in 1306 the last Czech king of the powerful Přemyslid dynasty (King Wenceslas III.) was murdered here
  • in 1576, the University was founded (the second oldest in the Czech Republic)
  • during the Renaissance, Olomouc was a rich town with magnificent palaces and 30 thousand inhabitants, the capital of Moravia (the second largest city in the Czech lands after Prague)
  • during the Thirty Years War, a devastating occupation by Swedish troops took place (1642-1650) , the city was completely destroyed during the siege, the vast majority of people either died or moved away from the wreckage of Olomouc
  • in the Baroque period many unique monuments, buildings and churches (Holy Trinity Column, a set of six Baroque fountains, the St. Michael’s Church...) were built
  • in 1767, the eleven year-old W. A. Mozart composed Symphony No. 6 in F major in Olomouc
  • in 1848, Franz Joseph I. Europe's longest-serving monarch, ascended the throne in Olomouc
  • in the 18th and 19th centuries, the city turned into an important military centre of the Austrian monarchy, the city changed into a fortress, construction of new fortifications and forts took place
  • during the Second World War, around 2000 of Jewish inhabitants died in concentration camps, after the war (1945), the vast majority of citizens of German nationality was deported (before the war the Germans constituted one third of the city population)
  • after the Communist coup (1948), a decline of Olomouc importance, the historic heritage neglected
  • after the Velvet Revolution in 1989, gradual reconstruction of the historical centre and monuments, construction of new sports facilities, places of recreation, hotels, transport and tourism infrastructure
  • now the fifth largest city in the Czech Republic, the centre of the Olomouc Region, the seat of the arcibiskupství, 20 thousand young people studying at the Palacky University
  • since 2000 the grandiose Holy Trinity Column has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List

For those who do not get discouraged by a few dates, we have prepared a brief overview of basic historical dates.
From Olomouc’s archives - web pages with archival documents of the Olomouc’s history.