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 Regional Museum in Olomouc continues the tradition of older Olomouc museums, dating back to the mid-19th century, and of a number of formerly separate museums in the city and its surrounding area. For many years it covered the former Olomouc Region and later a substantial portion of the Northmoravian Region. Today, the museum’s activity is formally defined by the territory of the Olomouc District. With regard to the nature of its collections in the fields of prehistory, history and present time in the social and natural sciences it covers not only central Moravia, but a wider area with forays into foreign countries. Along with professional treatment and evaluations of collections the Museum also deals with completion and registration of applications for the export of cultural objects.
The story of the city history, told from Early Middle Ages until the present, is proved by archaeological findings, relics of artistic crafts and book culture, and silent films from the history of 20th century. An authentic experience and professional information are provided by modern technology and interactive exhibits.
Various natural conditions of the region ranging from lowlands near Olomouc, the hilly area of the Nízký Jeseník, to the mountainous terrain of the Hrubý Jeseník and Králický Sněžník are presented in an amusing, interactive, and light way, which draws visitors into the plot immediately… The exposition is literally loaded with top audiovisual technology.
The exposition which was prepared for the 440th anniversary of foundation of the Olomouc University concentrates on the past and present of the second oldest university in the Czech lands. Dozens of interesting items are displayed here, such as a copy of the original rectorial sceptre or the second University registry, medals, type files, surgical instruments and a glass harmonica.
Kings, church dignitaries, artists, scientists, soldiers and sports people who have made their impact on the face of the region over eleven centuries are the topic of the brand-new exposition. Learn, for example, to whom we are indebted for battered steak, who invented the word “slabikář”, who was a lover of Olomouc “tvarůžky” and many other curiosities.
From 16 May 2013, the new exposition of geology, archaeology, and lapidary offers a fascinating view of a range of artefacts from museum collections, whose common denominator is stone in all its forms.