Meeting of V4 Partner - Cities and Villages

Olomouc conference town

Olomouc is a regional city with a hundred thousand inhabitants in the heart of Moravia. It is the second largest landmark preservation area in the Czech Republic, following Prague, and the most significant of the landmarks is the Holy Trinity Column, part of the UNESCO World heritage. The roots of the today’s face of the city date back to the 10th century and the oldest part is Václavské náměstí where now stands the neo-gothic St. Wenceslas Cathedral. It was, however, originally just a small Romanesque church from the 11th century. At the same time, also the bishopric was established at this very place. It was the second bishopric in the Czech lands and first in Moravia. Thanks to this, Olomouc slowly became the capital of Moravia. The city lost this status a few centuries later though, after the Thirty years’ war, and the status of the capital of Moravia went to Brno.

In the 18th century, the bishopric of Olomouc became an archbishopric and the beautiful baroque archbishop's palace can be admired in today's Wurmova Street. In this palace, history was made - in 1848, the enthronement of Emperor Franz Joseph I took place there.

Olomouc is also proud to be home to the second oldest university in the Czech Republic - Palacký University. In the 16th century, the original Jesuit College, which was located in the building of today's Jesuit Convent, was promoted to a university. The large building of the Convent now serves as the Palacký University Art Centre and will also host our conference.

During the Thirty Years' War, Olomouc was occupied by the Swedes and the Convent served as quarters for Swedish soldiers and their families. The Swedes occupied Olomouc for 8 years and during that time they managed to destroy most of the equipment and premises of the original convent. However, the Swedes left their mark not only on the convent building, but on the face of the whole Olomouc. The significant loss of population, the destruction of churches, monasteries, and the buildings in the city centre - all of this caused Olomouc to become the "Baroque pearl of Moravia". After the Swedes had left, the reconstruction work was carried out in the city, and since it was the 17th century, the city got a new Baroque face mask.

When Empress Maria Theresa faced the onslaught of the Prussians in the 18th century, she decided to turn Olomouc into a fortress. The city walls were reinforced and stretched around the historic city center. At the end of the 19th century, the walls were demolished to allow the city to grow further. One part of the wall, however, was preserved in the park under the Jesuit Convent.

Today's Olomouc is still proud of its historical and cultural heritage but it has become a modern city that strives to be the best possible place for people to live in. Despite the effects of the pandemic,  the city has not stopped investing so that new cycle paths are being built to promote healthy transport in the city, a new tram line is meant to connect another parts of the city, ice stadium is getting a new roof, bridges are under reconstruction, parks are being revitalized and monuments, with the Town Hall in lead, have been renovated. A couple of years ago, a new smart city department was established at the Municipality with the aim of applying “smart solutions” in practice. In this area are for example our Finnish partners from Tampere our big inspiration and the representatives of Tampere will also give a lecture at the conference.