We each have an Olomouc Region Card. This is a special tourist card that allows free admission to a variety of attractions, as well as discounts on many other items. Oh, and it includes unlimited use of the city's transportation system! There are two different passes available, the 2 day card at 180 korunas ($9.00), and the 5 day card at 360 korunas ($18.00).
The 2 day card is probably most popular if you don't plan on seeing any of the attractions outside the city limits. However the 5 day card is best if you have the use of a car, and plan on seeing the surrounding countryside as well as the city itself.
So we walked the very short distance to the central plaza, where there is actually quite a lot to see just wandering around. First stop was the tourist office, where we booked an hour long guided walking tour in English. Our tour was to begin at 12:30pm, so we had a short time to wait and we wandered around on our own.
The central plaza of Olomouc.
You'll notice in the picture above, the Holy Trinity Column on the left. This is a UNESCO listed structure that was built between approximately 1722 to 1750. There is a small chapel on the inside that you can enter.
The top of the Holy Trinity Column.
There are six fountains in the central area, all of which were built at various times between 1688 and 1727. Olomouc is unique in this respect because although many other towns in Czech Republic used to have fountains, most were removed during modernization of water systems however Olomouc fountains were maintained.
This fountain is a statue of Julius Caesar. It was built in a very short time period of 4 1/2 months in the year 1725. Caesar is widely regarded as the founder of the city. The sculptor who created this statue was only 25 years old.
This was taken just after 12:00 noon on a beautiful Sunday. Where is everybody?
Kevin, at a statue outside of St. Maurice's Church.
We met up with our tour guide at 12:30pm, and we had a young couple from Prague who joined us. The tour was in English, but this couple spoke near perfect English so it was no problem for them!
Olomouc has an astronomical clock similar to the one in Prague.
This clock has had many different motifs over the years. Dating originally from the year 1420, it's face was remodeled approximately once every 100 years. However, when the retreating Nazi army passed through Olomouc in the final days of World War II in May of 1945, they opened fire on the clock, virtually destroying it. It was rebuilt by the communist regime around 1950 with the traditional religious and royal figures being replaced with farmers, workers, and scientists. Many locals feel the face should once again be updated to reflect the fact that the communists are no longer in charge.
We went into the town hall and up to the tower overlooking the city.
The courtyard of the town hall.
Olomouc is unique in another way. The town hall is one of the very few town halls in Czech Republic that is still being used as the town hall! Most of them have moved to more modern facilities.
Our guide showing us a model of the town hall.
View of the plaza and the Holy Trinity Column.
Another beautiful view of the city!
Next, we went into St. Michael's Church. This is one of those churches with a fairly plain exterior, but a most amazing interior!
The picture doesn't do it justice!
St. Michael's Church also has an accessible bell tower, and a "hermitage" (religious retreat) in the basement.
Here's Ruth, coming up from the hermitage. What a neat place!
Next, we went to the Archdiocese Museum of Olomouc. The interior of this old building has some very modern elements!
Not a place I would normally think of going to, but I was very surprised, and glad that we did. A very modern museum, constructed to blend in and complement the ancient structures that surround it.
This museum houses the relics and artifacts of the church. Many amazing items, and I didn't take any photos, preferring instead to tempt you to visit. Let me say that you won't be disappointed. If someone like me can be amazed by these items, then suffice to say that it will be worth your while.
Okay, maybe one 10 second video from the treasure room. This piece was constructed in the 1700's. There's obviously some money in the church business! I couldn't believe we spent almost two hours in this museum.
You have to wear funny slippers over your street shoes so as not to damage the parquet flooring!
Entry is free on Sunday's and Wednesday's, and there was hardly anybody there. A shame, because we thought it would have been well worth the 50 korunas ($2.50) entry fee!
We popped inside the main St. Wenceslas Cathedral for a better look. We had been in here on Friday afternoon, but wanted to get a better look.
Exterior of St. Wenceslas Cathedral.
Check out the hinges on this old door!
Okay, that's enough for today! It's going to be another hot one (34C, 92F) and we have more exploring to do!