Visit Olomouc UNESCO Heritage site

More and more visitors are choosing to visit religious monuments and places of pilgrimage when they take a trip abroad. If this is the kind of thing you enjoy, you should really make the effort and go and visit the Olomouc region in the Czech Republic. The Czech people have 12 monuments within their country that they are especially proud of, and one of them in Olomouc.

The monument is called the Holy Tinity Column, and it is situated in the Upper Square, or Horní náměstí, in Olomouc and UNESCO designated it as a world heritage site in 2000. It is 35m tall, making it the highest sculpture group anywhere in the Czech Republic. As part of a group that includes the Marian Column in the Lower Square, or  Dolní náměstí, and another 6 baroque fountains, it has been a monument of national culture since 1995.

Built between 1716-1754, it is  monument that the locals have been very proud of from the day the construction was completed. The fact that it was actually built in Olumouc speaks volumes of the city’s historical importance, and it was the seat of Bishops until 1063 and the former capital of the Moravia region. The idea of building the column was first conceived by an architect and stonemason called Václav Render.

He fought hard to get his project approved by the city council,developed the idea and even contributed to the funding of it. It was originally intended to be a plague column but during the course of  the erection the project changed and it became dedicated to the Holy Trinity, which is represented by gold plated copper sculptures that dominate the 3 storey monument,

It also has a further 18 statues of various saints, 14 reliefs and a small chapel. It is when you stand directly in front of the monument that you feel the atmosphere of times gone by exuding from it, and you can appreciate both its artistic and architectural mastery and pay your own tribute to the creators.

Olomouc Astronomical Clock

Another rarity to be found in Olomouc is located just a few steps from the UNESCO monument: an astronomical clock. It was probably built at the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries and has undergone several renovations that have gradually changed its appearance. It was heavily damaged at the end of the 2nd World War, in May 1945, and a national artist named Karel Svolinský, a native of nearby Svatý Kopeček (“St. Hill”), was asked by the city to repair it. It was he who re-built it in 1955 in the shape as we know it today: the mosaic of the astronomical clock in the spirit of socialist realism embodies the life and work of the region’s people. It is a truly unique monument that is probably unparalleled throughout the world.

Olomouc has many more sights to offer!

The Olomouc panorama is inseparable from the towers of St. Wenceslas’ Church. It got its neogothic appearance as we know it today, with the tallest tower to be found in Moravia – and the second tallest in the whole of the Czech Republic – at the end of the 19th century. You should definitely take a stroll there when visiting the city. And don’t forget to visit the Romanesque palace of Moravian bishops at the Premyslid castle, which is sometimes incorrectly referred to as the “Premyslid Palace”. It is the most outstanding architectural monument of Central European importance to be found in Olomouc that was built in the first half of the 12th century and features unique Romanesque arched windows decorated with relief ornaments that are unparalleled in the Czech Republic.

Aviation Museum features many interesting attractions!

You might think that the Moravian city of Olomouc is too far to travel to when visiting the Czech Republic. However, it is not that difficult: the cities of Prague and Olomouc are connected with a motorway but you can also take a plane and land at one of five Czech international airports. When getting from plane in Olomouc, do visit its Aviation Museum, which features different technology, including military jet planes, many exhibits from the history of air transport, a large collection of flight simulators and aircraft engines.

Svatý Kopeček

Situated just eight kilometres from the city centre is the most popular tourist destination and a place of pilgrimage in the region, Svatý Kopeček (“Saint Hill”). This part of the foothills of a mountain range called Nízký Jeseník is dominated by a baroque Church of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, rising majestically above Olomouc and offering a beautiful view of the region. Since 1956 the surrounding forests have encompassed a zoological garden, spreading over an area of 40 hectares. When visiting the zoo, you can enjoy a sightseeing tour on board a mini-train or a view from an observation tower. It offers nice relaxation and new knowledge at the same time. You will find more than 350 animal species and many of them are very rare. The whole region enjoys a network of hiking paths and cycle routes. If you have had enough of strolls in the countryside, why not go back to the city and take a cruise along the river Moravia! You can choose one of the one to three-hour cruises on comfortable eight-seat inflatable boats. Don’t worry: each boat has its own skilled instructor on board! Night cruises on boats decorated with Chinese lanterns along illuminated sights are especially romantic, and more experienced canoeists can take a longer trip on a raft or a canoe to a nearby picturesque natural reserve called “Litovelské Pomoraví”.

Flora Olomouc

The metropolis of the Haná region is inseparable from the traditional international gardening exhibition called “Flora Olomouc”. Whether you visit its spring or summer stage, you will definitely be fascinated by a wide range of flower species coming in countless colours. Various flower arrangements displayed in many corners of the city will call your attention to the exhibition that just takes place in Olomouc. The Olomouc Exhibition Grounds hosts 15 exhibitions and fairs every year and its staff take care of 47 hectares of parks including greenhouses, a rosarium and a botanical garden.

Another opportunity to relax is provided by Olomouc’s renowned restaurants. If you visit one of the places labelled with the “CzechSpecials” mark, you can be sure it offers national and local specialities. Try “hrstková polévka” (Haná mixed soup), “syrečky” (local ripened round cheese with bacon) or Haná traditional pear scones. After a good hearty meal you can take a trip on to a different part of the Olomouc region.

Olomouc Region

The symbols of the Olomouc region include traditional ceramics, the dialect of Haná, Haná dances, songs, music, ornamental costumes and many folk ensembles, folk festivals and shows. And of course several castles including probably the most beautiful among them, Bouzov. If you prefer chateaux to castles, there are also plenty to choose from: Náměšť na Hané, Plumlov, Tovačov or Velké Losiny, which is one of the oldest functional hand paper mills to be found inEurope. The region also features a technical rarity: the Dlouhé Stráně pumped-storage hydro power station. Last but not least: we should definitely not forget to mention hot and cold healing springs, baths and colonnade concerts you can visit in several spa towns renowned for their high-quality care.