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
E-mail: [email protected]
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.
Saint Paula has been the patron Saint of the city of Olomouc since October 23rd 1623 when a procession with her remains helped to ward off the severe plague that was haunting the town at that time. The remains of Saint Paula are stored in the Church of St. Maurice, where is also an altar dedicated to her. A historic parade through the city is held in her honour every year as a part of the City Fest.
The Olomouc Bishop Jindřich Zdík (Henry Zdík) (about 1083-1150) was one of the greatest Czech intellectuals of the early Middle Ages, an outstanding cleric and diplomat, promoter of ecclesiastical reforms. He was responsible for completion of the St.Wenceslas Cathedral and built the Bishop's Palace on the Wenceslas Hill, the only surviving Romanesque monument in Olomouc.
Saint John Sarkander, patron Saint of Moravia, is one the "youngest" Czech saints together with St Zdislava of Lemberk. He was tortured to death in the former town‘s prison, today the Chapel of St. John Sarkander, for refusing to divulge the secrets of the confessional. Canonization celebrations, attended by Pope John Paul II., were held in May 1995 in Olomouc. The remains of St John Sarkander are stored in the St.Wenceslas Cathedral.
Pope John Paul II., born Karol Wojtyła, was undoubtedly the most popular pope of the 20th century. During his numerous trips abroad he also visited Olomouc. In May 1995, he declared here the Blessedo Jan Sarkander and the Blessed Zdislava a saint. He visited the Cathedral and pilgrimage church on The Holy Hill, that he elevated to Minor Basilica.