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.
Na Pevnůstce, Vrchní 75, 779 00, Olomouc - Radíkov
Telefon: (+420) 777 135 001
E-mail: [email protected]
Otevřeno: July, August, September and October on Sat and Sun from 11.00am to 5:00pm, last tour starts at 4.00pm. After-hours tours by request only.
Doprava: By car from Olomouc in the direction towards Svatý Kopeček, turn left at the end into a blind street, direction Radíkov. Bus No.11 from Olomouc (Bus stop Radíkov) and No. 111 (only to the Zoo). On the bike: Take the cycle track No.6103 from Svatý Kopeček (the Holy Hill) or No.6030, if you go from Dolany. By foot from the Zoo on the Holy Hill (Svatý Kopeček), take the asphalt road.
Around Olomouc a massive fortification system, the so-called „ Crown Fort ", was built in the mid 19th century. The plan was to complete it by a group of advanced forts called the "fest" in the total number of three. The Fest Holy Hill (Sv. Kopeček) had to have four forts (Toveř No. 1, Radíkov No. 2, Lošov No. 3, Droždín No. 4) and two artillery batteries. Out of them only Radíkov No.2 was constructed. The construction began in 1871 as part of the "Imperial Royal Olomouc Fortress” (Kaiser Königliche Olomüzer Festung - K.K.O.F.) based on drawings by Karel von Pech.
The fort was fighting-fit after three years, but it wasn’t fully completed until 1882. As for the construction of the building itself, it is a one-escarpment artillery fort. This fortification building is very valuable and unique from an architectural and historical point of view and it is the only fort of such a kind in the Czech Republic. The stronghold also included a military hospital built in Radíkov at the end of what is now Zedníková Street, and two army wells dug in 1875 in Samotíšky that are still functional. A peace-time Powder House with a guardhouse was built for the fort in the fields between Samotíšky and Chválkovice.
Fort Radíkov is one of the small forts of the Imperial Royal Olomouc Fortress from 1876 and is "embedded" in the hills behind Radikov’s tower. Though it covers 6 hectares it is "invisible". Entry can be found at the end of the asphalt road between the "tower" and the Chalet under the Tower (Chata pod Věží). Its structure is unique in the whole country. Fort (a redoubt) Radíkov is a cultural monument.