This That and the Passport
Olomouc, Czech Republic
Visited: Summer 2015
Favourite Memory: Being the only tourists standing in front of the OTHER astronomical clock in the Czech Republic!
In a nutshell: This was our pick for an "off the beaten path" town. Perfect for a day trip from Prague and a window into the life of a regular Czech town. Except for the tourist information office we did not find anyone who spoke English or Spanish. This did not stop us from meeting friendly people who helped us order food and mail postcards at the local post office.
The town was pretty empty on this summer day. The 20,000 University students were on holiday so it was quiet and not crowded.
The Holy Trinity Column is what draws most people to Olomouc. This Baroque monument was built between 1716 and 1754. It celebrates the Catholic faith and gratitude for the ending of the plague. The column is topped by a sculpture of the Holy Trinity with the Archangel Gabriel on top and the Assumption of the Virgin below. There is also a small chapel at the base.
The Olomouc Town Hall building is located in the Upper Square. For more than 6 centuries it has been the headquarters of the city govenment. It dates bask to 1378 and it is the most impresive building on the square. It also houses the Tourist Information office and the Astronomical Clock.
Olomouc's Astronomical clock is one of two in the Czech Republic, the other one is in Prague. It was built between 1419 and 1422 and has been reconstructed several times. It no longer depicts St George on his horse or the Three Kings. Instead, in 1955 it was reconstructed in the socialist realism style.
Detail of Soviet era figurines installed in 1955. Every day at noon the clock springs into action and you can see the figures rotate as music plays.
There are 8 famous fountains in Olomouc. Six are Baroque and two are modern. The Baroque fountains date from as far back as the 17th century and are based on a single mythological concept. Here are examples of each style of fountain. They are all beautiful and unique and it is nice to walk around the town finding all of them.
The Arion fountain is one of the modern fountains and was completed in 2002. It depicts an ancient Greek legend showing Arion being rescued from the sea by a dolphin attracted to his singing.
The Neptune fountain is one of the 6 Baroque fountains and was built in 1683. It depicts the Greek god of Water surrounded by 4 horses.
There are several religious buildings dating from different centuries. The most famous is perhaps the St Wenceslas' Cathedral. It is a beautiful Neo-Gothic building and houses the tallest church tower in Moravia.
The architecture in the town is absolutely stunning and well preserved. Every building has its own charatcteristics, they differ in colour, and style.
The feel of the city must be very different when these wide open squares are full of students. 20,000 students attend Palacky University during the regular school year.
There are outdoor cafes in every square. It was pretty quiet in the morning, but during summer afternoons everyone comes out to enjoy the day.
Olomouc has more than this to offer. There is also a castle, a fortress, churches, palaces and museums. This is a town where we would have gladly spent more time. Having just scratched the surface I think we will have to come back!
For information on how to get to Olomouc and our day itinerary click HERE!
Where to stay? Use the map below to explore great places to stay nearby and enjoy this town for more than a day. (We use and trust Booking.com. If you book from this site we get a small comission, at no cost to you, to help us maintain our blog.)