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

Romans in Olomouc


A monument, a symbol of a Roman milestone, has been built at this historically significant site. The near tram stop is also to remind us of this famous archaeological discovery.



Since the Stone Age, the site where today's Olomouc is located was regularly chosen to set up villages. There was an important crossroad near the ford across the Morava River. The roads linked the south of Moravia with its north and the east with the west. That was probably the reason why the Roman soldiers chose this place to build a temporary camp which was found in Neředín in 2001.

A part of a camp trench was explored during an archaeological research under a newly constructed road on today's Římská a Slovanská Streets. The Neředín camp represents a proof of the northernmost penetration of Roman troops north of the Danube River (about 200 km). It is not known what military unit was stationed in Olomouc. This place was an important junction in the past, a crossroad of routes linking the north and south of Moravia (perhaps one of the branches of the legendary Amber Route crossed the site as well). Because of its strategic location the site was chosen as the place of a temporary Roman camp for a certain period, probably between 179 and 180 AD that was used to control the surrounding area, roads and the ford across the Morava River. The Roman military station remained there until the fall of the Roman Empire and was used occasionally by the locals thereafter.

A monument, a symbol of a Roman milestone, has been built at this historically significant site. The near tram stop is also to remind us of this famous archaeological discovery.

The memorial was chosen deliberately in the shape of a Roman milestone as it reminds of one characteristic object commonly appearing along the Roman roads. Milestones were stone pillars built at regular intervals along the roads indicating the distance to various destinations. In the city of Rome there was the "Golden Milestone" from which road distances were measured. Each milestone was numbered and bore the name of its builder.

Milestones characterised by unity of shape were built along roads of the Roman Empire. Two to three meters high stone pillars with circular or elliptical cross-sections were seated into a base. The inscription indicated the distance to the starting point (Caput Viae in Latin) in Roman miles, name of the location, year of construction and construction interference. The reigning emperors were named as the builders as the construction of milestones acted as their propaganda.