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.
8. května, 779 00, Olomouc
Telefon: (+420) 585 223 179
E-mail: [email protected]
Otevřeno: The tower is open to the public; tours are held only when weather permits. No fixed opening hours | The Holy Mass: Mon - Sat 8:00am, Sun 7:30, 9:00, 10:30am | Adoration: Fri 9:00am -12:00noon | Confession: before every Holy Mass Thu + Fri 9:00am to 11:00am
Doprava: Trams No. 2, 4, 6 – Station Koruna (ca 70 meters)
The Parish Church of St. Maurice ranks among the most precious buildings of the late Gothic style in Moravia. The three-naved structure has a cross vaulting (also known as a groin vault) dating from the middle of the 14th century. A more advanced net vault may be seen in the presbytery.
Two asymmetric prismatic towers were built on the western facade. In the western part of the church there is a unique double spiral staircase.
The real gem is the late Gothic sculpture of the 15th century, Christ on the Mount of Olives, located in the interior.
On the northern wall of the church, there is the Renaissance burial chapel of the Edelmann family. After a fire in 1709, the interior was redecorated in the Baroque style; Loretta Chapel and All Souls Chapel were added. Painters Jan Kryštof Handke, Karel Josef Haringer and Karel Moravec and sculptors Filip Sattler, Jan Sturmer and Jiří Antonín Heinz took part in the Baroque adaptations of the interior.
Maurice‘s organ, the largest organ in Central Europe and the eighth largest in Europe, were made by Master Michael Engler in 1745. It was decorated by the sculptor Philip Sattler and the wood-carver Jan Jiří Huckh. The original Baroque instrument with three keyboards underwent a renovation in the sixties of the 20th century.At that time a modern instrument was added, with 5 keyboards. Now the organ has 135 registers and 10,400 pipes.
In the mid 19th century, the church was equipped with new historicist furniture and underwent re-gothization in the years 1869-1908. The main altar is decorated with a Neo-Gothic retable from the mid 19th century.