Out for a lakeside walk in Valea Morilor Park in Chisinau, Moldova. Photo taken December 4, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Exploring the City of Olomouc

We slept in a little yesterday, and didn't get going until after 11:00am. Our plan was to explore the central area, and take in some of the museums and churches. Most museums are closed on Mondays, so we were going to try and take in as much as possible yesterday.

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.

video
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!


11 comments:

  1. The architecture is amazing, especially the churches... and to think when some of it was constructed, it's hard to wrap my mind around. Nice.
    Travel well,
    Box Canyon Mark from Lovely Ouray, Colorado.

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    1. We agree the architecture is amazing and we kept on saying this to each other as we looked at everything. We just can't fathom how these building were crafted so long ago.

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  2. Beautiful and breathtaking - can't get over how very clean it looks - enjoying this so much - TKS!!!

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    1. The streets are very clean in fact I can't say we have noticed very much litter at all.

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  3. architecture is amazing!..and the 'fashion' boots?..really styling!!!

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    1. These small cities/towns are so beautiful and so quiet, I can't believe more people don't check them out because they really are missing so much history and culture.

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  4. Such a beautiful city. I love the roof lines of many European cities.

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  5. I'm loving how quiet the town seems to be, and so many interesting places to visit.

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    1. There is so much to see and so little time. I wish more people would explore some of the smaller cities. They would get a much better feel for the country than just Prague.

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  6. You two are having quite the adventure! I can't wait to get off our continent and see some more of the world!

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  7. Ooooh, the wooden door, the blacksmith of the family sure likes it. :) We ran across lots of interesting iron works similar to this in France, very intricate work from centuries ago - quite amazing.

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