Olomouc Guide: Baroque and Belle Epoque Beauty

In this guide we visit Olomouc, a delightful city in the Czech Republic famous for its Art Nouveau, Baroque and Belle Epoque beauty.

A day trip to Olomouc

While I was staying in Prague I decided to take a a day trip to Olomouc, a city in the eastern part of the Czech Republic.

Although Olomouc might not be well-known internationally, I knew from first-hand experience that it is actually a very beautiful city.

Many years ago I briefly visited the city during an unplanned visit.

Coming from Poland, I missed my connecting train to Slovakia at the station of Olomouc and was forced to spend three hours or so in town while waiting for the next train departure.

Although most of those hours were spent having lunch and drinking a beer or two, I was impressed by the apparent beauty of Olomouc.

I vowed to come back to see more of the city – and this was an excellent occasion to do so.

From Prague, I took a luxurious Leo Express train to Olomouc, where I had an entire day to look around before I would need to head back to the Czech capital.

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Leo Express train at Prague’s central railway station. ©Paliparan
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Scenery from the train between Prague and Olomouc. ©Paliparan

Into the city

The train station of Olomouc is located on the east side of the city.

To get from the railway station to the old town of Olomouc, you can either take a tram or simply walk.

It’s about a 20-minute walk to reach the outer edge of the old town while it takes 30 minutes to get to the central square.

I decided to walk and didn’t regret doing so.

On the way to the city centre you cross three rivers: The Morava River and the smaller Bystrice and Mlynsky Potok rivers.

As you cross the bridge over the Mlynsky Potok and enter a cobblestoned street lined with stately buildings called 1st of May (1. Máje in Czech), you already get a glimpse of what will await you in the old town of Olomouc.

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Walking from the train station towards the city centre. ©Paliparan
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Crossing the Morava river. ©Paliparan
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Greenery and stately buildings on the banks of the small Mlýnský Potok river. ©Paliparan
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Person waiting for the tram on 1st of May Street (1. Máje) in Olomouc. ©Paliparan
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Tram in Olomouc. ©Paliparan
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House on 1. máje. ©Paliparan

Olomouc Cathedral

The first major sight I encountered on my walk through Olomouc was the city’s cathedral.

Called Saint Wenceslas Cathedral, this Gothic church with three spires can be seen from almost everywhere in town.

Inside the cathedral, you can find the relics of Saint Jan Sarkander, a priest who was tortured and killed by protestant Hussites at the start of the Thirty Years’ War.

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Small chapel in the street leading up to the cathedral. ©Paliparan
Walking towards the cathedral. ©Paliparan
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Olomouc Cathedral. ©Paliparan
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The interior of Olomouc Cathedral. ©Paliparan
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Olomouc Cathedral. ©Paliparan
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Inside the Gothic cathedral. ©Paliparan
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Church organ. ©Paliparan
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Cathedral side altar. ©Paliparan
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Statue of Saint Jan Sarkander and his relics. ©Paliparan

Baroque and Belle Epoque

After my cathedral visit, I walked back to 1st of May Street and continued my walk around the old town of Olomouc.

This Olomouc street already featured plenty of beautiful buildings in Belle Epoque architectural style.

Those who love older styles should definitely stop at the Church of Our Lady of the Snows on Republic Square (Náměstí Republiky) to admire its fine baroque interior.

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Walking on 1. Máje towards the heart of the old town of Olomouc. ©Paliparan
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Náměstí Republiky (Republic Square). ©Paliparan
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Church of Our Lady of the Snows. ©Paliparan
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The beautiful Baroque interior of the Church of Our Lady of the Snows. ©Paliparan

Republic Square museums

On Republic Square you can also find a couple of interesting museums, although sadly I didn’t have the time to visit any.

One of these museums is the Olomouc Art Museum.

The Olomouc Art Museum is located in a beautiful Art Nouveau building which once housed the city hospital.

Despite the Art Nouveau exterior, the exhibits in this museum do however mainly feature modern art.

Right next to the Art Museum you can find the Regional Museums of Olomouc.

The Regional Museums are located in a late baroque building from the 18th century which used to be a convent of the Order of Saint Clara.

Among others, you can visit exhibitions here about the history of Olomouc and natural sciences.

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Cool Olomouc mural. ©Paliparan
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Olomouc Regional Museum. ©Paliparan
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The Olomouc Art Museum is located in a beautiful Art Nouveau building. ©Paliparan

Deeper into the old town

From Republic Square, the heart of the old town is just a stone throw away.

On the way to Upper Square – the main old town square of Olomouc – I passed by another famous city church.

Called the Church of Saint Maurice, this 15th century church was built in Gothic style and features an unique stone tower.

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Walking deeper into the old town. ©Paliparan
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Olomouc old town. ©Paliparan
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Belle Epoque architecture in Olomouc. ©Paliparan
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The Roman Catholic Church of St. Maurice. ©Paliparan
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The Church of Saint Maurice has a Gothic design and unique stone bell tower. ©Paliparan

Upper Square

Upper Square (Horní náměstí) is the heart of the old town of Olomouc and on this massive plaza you can find some of the most famous landmarks of the city.

In the middle of Upper Square stands the City Hall of Olomouc.

The City Hall was built in the 15th century in Gothic style, although lots of Renaissance elements were added during renovations and expansions in the following centuries.

If you want to visit the Olomouc City Hall and climb up the 75-metre high tower, you can hop on one of the two daily tours held at 11am and 3pm.

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Upper Square. ©Paliparan
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The City Hall of Olomouc stands in the middle of the square. ©Paliparan
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City hall. ©Paliparan
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Olomouc City Hall on Upper Square. ©Paliparan

Astronomical clock

On the northern side of the City Hall, there is a highly interesting astronomical clock to admire.

The astronomical clock was first made in Baroque style in the 15th century, although this was later replaced by a Neo-Gothic design in 1898.

However, this Neo-Gothic astronomical clock was destroyed at the end of the Second World War by an artillery shell.

After World War II, Czech artist Karel Svolinsky redesigned the astronomical clock in socialist realism style.

Unsurprisingly, the figures depicted on it are all from the proletariat such as a worker and chemist.

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The city hall has an astronomical clock. ©Paliparan
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Olomouc astronomical clock. ©Paliparan
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The astronomical clock was designed in socialist realism style. ©Paliparan

Holy Trinity Column

Although the City Hall will probably be the first structure on Upper Square that will catch your eye, it isn’t the most famous one.

The biggest sight in Olomouc is the Holy Trinity Column, which has even been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

The Holy Trinity Column of Olomouc is one of the most elaborate baroque monuments in Europe.

Just like other such columns found throughout Central Europe, the Holy Trinity Column of Olomouc was constructed by the local citizens out of gratitude towards God for helping to end the plague.

Between 1713 and 1715 a plague devastated the Czech region of Moravia in which Olomouc is located.

When the plague finally disappeared, the best local craftsmen and artists from Olomouc contributed to this monument in order to celebrate their Catholic faith.

On the top of the column you can see gilded sculptures of the Holy Trinity, the Archangel Gabriel and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The sculptures on the lower levels depict saints, many of them who were somehow connected to Olomouc and the wider Moravia region during their lives.

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The Holy Trinity Column is the main landmark on the square and a must-visit Olomouc sight. ©Paliparan
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The Holy Trinity Column of Olomouc. ©Paliparan
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Olomouc Holy Trinity Column. ©Paliparan
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Statues of saints on the base of the column. ©Paliparan

Other sights on Upper Square

Standing on Upper Square you can’t help to be amazed by the splendour of the surrounding buildings.

Although the styles of these buildings do vary, they somehow blend extremely well together.

Two noteworthy buildings on Upper Square are the Edelmann Palace built in Renaissance style and the Art Nouveau post office.

Make sure you also admire the many fountains on this square.

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Hercules fountain on Upper Square. ©Paliparan
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Edelmann Palace. ©Paliparan
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Colourful buildings on Upper Square. ©Paliparan
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The Art Nouveau building of the Olomouc Post office. ©Paliparan
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Caesar Fountain. ©Paliparan
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Arion Fountain. ©Paliparan

Lower square

Adjacent to Upper Square lies Lower Square, another magnificent part of the old town of Olomouc.

This square has some notable buildings as well such as Hauenschild Palace, a Renaissance townhouse with an elaborate cylindrical bay window.

Just like Upper Square, Lower Square has its own baroque column.

This Marian Column features a statue of the Virgin Mary and was also built after the plague just like the Holy Trinity Column.

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Upper Square and the City Hall as seen from Lower Square. ©Paliparan
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Lower Square and the Marian Column. ©Paliparan
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The Marian Column on Lower Square. ©Paliparan
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Cafés and restaurants on Lower Square. On the left-side of the picture you can see Hauenschild Palace, a Renaissance townhouse with its cylindrical bay window. ©Paliparan
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Jupiter Fountain. ©Paliparan
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Jupiter Fountain on Lower Square. ©Paliparan

A walk to the north

Towards the north of the old town squares there are a couple of picturesque streets to explore.

One of these streets immediately to the north of Upper Square had some colourful decorations floating above the cobblestones.

Nearby, the Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary is another Olomouc church which is well-worth a quick visit for its faded wall paintings.

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Colourful street decoration. ©Paliparan
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Looking back towards the Trinity Column. ©Paliparan
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Art Nouveau house on Slovenska Street in the old town of Olomouc. ©Paliparan
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Old town street. ©Paliparan
Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary
Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. ©Paliparan
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Interior of the Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. ©Paliparan


For lunch, I randomly stopped at a local pub and restaurant called Mikulda as they advertised a cheap lunch menu.

The Budvar beer and Svíčková – a traditional Czech dish of thinly-cut sirloin steak with bread dumplings in a cream sauce – were certainly tasty.

Mikulda pub and restaurant. ©Paliparan
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Enjoying some Svíčková at Mikulda. ©Paliparan

Old city walls and fortifications

After lunch I headed towards the west of the old town as I knew this area of Olomouc is famous for its many Belle Epoque and Art Nouveau buildings.

On your way you can admire some of the old fortifications of the city.

At some parts, the old walls and casemates still remain, although they have now been turned into coffee shops, restaurants and pubs.

Just to the west of the old town you can also visit the Theresa Gate (Terezská Brána), one of the old baroque entrance gates to Olomouc which was named in honour of Austrian empress Maria Theresa after she visited the city.

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On the west side of the old town you can still see some of the old fortifications. ©Paliparan
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Cafés and pubs have now been built inside and along the city’s old casemates and fortifications. ©Paliparan
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Old fortifications. ©Paliparan
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Olomouc district court. ©Paliparan
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Terezská Brána (Theresa Gate). ©Paliparan
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The Baroque exterior of the Theresa Gate. ©Paliparan

Belle Epoque Olomouc

Perhaps the most beautiful ensemble of Belle Epoque and Art Nouveau buildings in Olomouc can be found in the area around Theresa Gate.

This upscale residential district is absolutely wonderful to explore – you are best off wandering around at random as there are architectural marvels at every corner.

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The part of Olomouc around the Theresa Gate has some wonderful Belle Epoque architecture. ©Paliparan
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Belle Epoque architecture in Olomouc. ©Paliparan
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Exploring the residential neighbourhoods around the old town centre. ©Paliparan
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Belle Epoque grandeur in Olomouc. ©Paliparan
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Belle Epoque buildings. ©Paliparan

Art Nouveau beer

If you want to drink a beer in Art Nouveau and Belle Epoque surroundings, then you should definitely head towards the Olomouc microbrewery Moritz.

The beer at Moritz is excellent and from the lovely outdoor terrace you can admire all the Art Nouveau and Belle Epoque splendour of Olomouc around you.

Even the Moritz logo on the beer glass oozes Art Nouveau style!

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Brewery pub Moritz is located in a gorgeous Belle Epoque building and well worth a visit when looking for a local place to grab a beer in Olomouc. ©Paliparan
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Enjoying a pint of beer at Moritz. ©Paliparan

Architectural delights

After the beer, I wandered a bit more around the neighbourhood and came across some more architectural delights.

It isn’t only Baroque or Art Nouveau what you will encounter in Olomouc, as there are also plenty of Renaissance Revival and Neo-Gothic buildings to admire to name a few different style.

Take for example the Eduard Hamburger Villa, which was designed in an eclectic historicist style with some Baroque and Renaissance elements.

The Eduard Šrot Villa with its unusual façade is a fine example of neo-Renaissance architecture and the beautiful building wouldn’t look out of place in the Italian Med.

Another interesting building is the Neo-Gothic Pöttingeum.

This school building was named after Count Pötting, who started the first Czech-language women’s school in Olomouc in this building at the end of the 19th century.

Even though Count Pötting himself was ethnic German, he was quite involved in Czech cultural life in Olomouc and the greater Moravian region.

Although the lingua franca in OIomouc was Czech until the 18th century, the city slowly Germanised during the 18th and 19th century.

While the countryside was still predominantly Czech, Olomouc itself became a cosmopolitan and multicultural city with a predominantly German character,

According to historic population data, in the 19th century there were three times as many ethnic Germans than there were Czechs living inside the city Olomouc.

Because of this, Olomouc was primarily known under its German name of Olmütz for many centuries.

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Eduard Hamburger Villa. ©Paliparan
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The Eduard Šrot Villa with its unusual façade. ©Paliparan
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Belle Epoque architecture in Olomouc. ©Paliparan
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Another fine Olomouc building built in Eclectic style with some Neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau influences. ©Paliparan
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The Villa of Ella Kricková features some wonderful Art Nouveau elements too. ©Paliparan
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The more off-the-beaten-path areas of Olomouc are delightful to explore. ©Paliparan
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Olomouc Belle Epoque architecture. ©Paliparan
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Whitewashed Art Nouveau building on Spojenců Street. ©Paliparan
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Walking through Olomouc. ©Paliparan
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The Neo-Gothic Pöttingeum building. ©Paliparan
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Olomouc tram. ©Paliparan
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The former Cinema Edison building is another fine example of Art Nouveau architecture in Olomouc. ©Paliparan
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Art Deco building in Olomouc. ©Paliparan
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Hussite Church. ©Paliparan

Back into the old town

After a fun walk around some residential neighbourhoods of Olomouc I returned to the old town.

Also here there are a few notable Art Nouveau buildings.

One of these is a the U Jakuba pension, which is housed in a 15th century building with an Art Nouveau façade from 1907.

Another notable Art Nouveau building can be found on Riegrova Street.

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Cafe New One. ©Paliparan
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Pension U Jakuba. ©Paliparan
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Art Nouveau façade on Riegrova Street. ©Paliparan
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After a great walk along some beautiful Belle Epoque architecture I found myself back at the central old town square of Olomouc. ©Paliparan

Medieval Olomouc

The streets towards the south of Upper and Lower Square are great to explore if you want to get a flavour of Medieval Olomouc.

All the streets and alleys in this part of town are somewhat more narrow and the buildings look older, creating an entirely different kind of atmosphere.

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Olomouc street art. ©Paliparan
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Old town street. ©Paliparan
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St. Catherine Church. ©Paliparan.
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Old town houses. ©Paliparan
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Cobblestoned street in the old town. ©Paliparan
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Spire of the City Hall towering high above the old town. ©Paliparan
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The pretty old town of Olomouc. ©Paliparan
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Old town alley. ©Paliparan
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Archbishop’s Seminary. ©Paliparan
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Pink-coloured house in the old town. ©Paliparan
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Belle Epoque architecture in the old town of Olomouc. ©Paliparan

Vila Primavesi

In the southern part of the old town you can also find Vila Primavesi, which is the most famous of all Art Nouveau buildings in Olomouc.

Vila Primavesi is a gorgeous Art Nouveau city villa which can be visited on a tour for a minor fee.

Whether it’s the exterior walls resembling some waves, the gorgeous entrance portal or the magnificent interior, the villa is just Art Nouveau perfection.

There is a nice outdoor garden café at the villa and you can even stay the night in one of the Art Nouveau rooms if you book ahead.

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Vila Primavesi. ©Paliparan
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Vila Primavesi is the most famous of all Art Nouveau buildings in Olomouc. ©Paliparan
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The wonderful Art Nouveau entrance portal of Vila Primavesi in Olomouc. ©Paliparan
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Garden café of Vila Primavesi. ©Paliparan
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View from Vila Primavesi over Bezruč Park below. ©Paliparan
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Vila Primavesi garden. ©Paliparan


If you walk down some steps right next to Vila Primavesi you will arrive in a large park.

Called Petr Bezruč Park (Park Petra Bezruče in Czech), this Olomouc city park is certainly nice to visit on a sunny day.

Parts of the park almost feel like a forest, especially the areas right next to the river which streams right through this green urban space.

However, Bezruč Park also features a well-kept botanical garden and a Mausoleum which contains the remains of more than 1,000 Yugoslav soldiers who died in local hospitals during World War I.

The Rosarium at the far eastern end of the park next to some of the local university faculties is a more modern landscaped park.

At the southern edge of the park you can find Crown Fortress, one of the old defensive bastions of Olomouc.

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Walking down the steps towards the park. ©Paliparan
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Passageway through a small tower. ©Paliparan
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Looking up from the park towards Villa Primavesi. ©Paliparan
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Mausoleum of Yugoslav Soldiers in Olomouc. ©Paliparan
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Botanical gardens. ©Paliparan
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Flowers in Bezruč Park. ©Paliparan
Rosarium. ©Paliparan
Walking alongside an old bastion. ©Paliparan
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Entrance to the Crown Fortress, one of the old defensive bastions of Olomouc. ©Paliparan
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Building inside the Crown Fortress. ©Paliparan

Back to the station

After a highly pleasant visit to Olomouc it was time to slowly head back to the station to catch my train back to Prague.

However, I couldn’t resist one more beer at a local bar before catching my train.

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Walking back towards the train station through a more modern part of town. ©Paliparan
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One last beer to conclude my visit to Olomouc. ©Paliparan
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Olomouc train station. ©Paliparan


Although it might not be very well known internationally, the city of Olomouc is a gorgeous city which you should definitely add to your itinerary when you visit the Czech Republic.

Especially architecture and history lovers will be impressed by Olomouc.

There is just so much Belle Epoque and Art Nouveau beauty to be seen throughout Olomouc that the city can only be described a postcard-perfect image of early 1900s Europe.

However, Olomouc is also world famous for its Baroque architecture and you can admire a couple of fantastic Baroque churches and buildings as well as the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Holy Trinity Column in the old town.

Olomouc is simply an extremely picturesque and well-kept city to walk through and with its many quality cafés, pubs and restaurants a visit here is highly unlikely to disappoint.

Trip report index

This ‘Trains, Planes, Beer and Tapas: A Trip to Prague and Madrid’ trip report consists of the following chapters:

1. Review: Ryanair Bucharest to Chania (Boeing 737-800)
2. A Rainy Chania Stopover
3. Ryanair Hell: My Bad Chania to Budapest Flight Experience
4. Review: T62 Hotel, Budapest, Hungary
5. Review: EuroCity Train “Hungaria” Budapest to Brno
6. A Walk Through the Historic Old Town Centre of Brno
7. Review: EuroCity Train “Metropolitan” Brno to Prague
8. Review: K+K Hotel Central, A Prague Art Nouveau Delight
9. Beer Boozing in Prague: Sampling Some Czech Brews
10. Praha Hlavní Nádraží – Prague’s Stunning Art Nouveau Station
11. Review: Leo Express Train Prague to Olomouc
12. Olomouc Guide: Baroque and Belle Epoque Beauty (current chapter)
13. Review: RegioJet Train Olomouc to Prague
14. Review: Erste Premier Lounge Prague Airport
15. Review: Air France HOP Business Class Embraer 170
16. Review: Air France Schengen Business Lounge Paris CDG Terminal 2F
17. Review: Air France Business Class Paris CDG to Madrid (Airbus A220)
18. A Madrid Tapas Crawl: Bar Hopping in Spain’s Capital
19. Review: Ibis Madrid Aeropuerto Barajas
20. Review: Puerta de Alcala VIP Lounge Madrid Airport
21. Review: Air Europa Economy Class Madrid to Milan (Boeing 787)
22. How To Transfer Between Milan Malpensa and Bergamo Airport

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Koen works as a freelance journalist covering south-eastern Europe and is the founding father and editor-in-chief of Paliparan. As a contributor to some major Fleet Street newspapers and some lesser known publications in the Balkans, he travels thousands of miles each year for work as well as on his personal holidays. Whether it is horse riding in Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan mountains, exploring the backstreets of Bogotá, or sipping a glass of moschofilero in a Greek beachside taverna, Koen loves to immerse himself into the local culture, explore new places and eat and drink himself around the world.

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