Olomouc (Haná Olomouc or Holomóc; German Olmütz; Polish
Ołomuniec; Hungarian Alamóc, Latin Olomucium) is a statutory and
university city in the Czech Republic, the center of the Olomouc
Region, the metropolis of Haná and the historical capital of
Moravia. The city with an area of 10,336 ha has approximately
101,000 inhabitants, making it the sixth most populous city in the
Czech Republic. Its wider agglomeration has about 450,000
In the Middle Ages, Olomouc was the third largest city in the Czech Crown (after Prague and Wroclaw) and competed with Brno for the status of the center of Moravia. However, this changed after the city was occupied by the army of the Swedish Empire in the years 1642 to 1650. In the middle of the 18th century, the city was rebuilt into a powerful fortress and Olomouc used to be an important defensive center, the seat of a strong military garrison. In the following years, many barracks, training grounds, warehouses and other buildings were built here, which were used by the army even after the abolition of the fortress in 1884, during the Czechoslovak Republic (when a major airport in Neředín was established), and after World War II. Since 1968, there has been a very large occupation garrison of the Soviet Army in Olomouc. Until 2013, the headquarters of the ACR Joint Forces was located in Olomouc, until then the city was the main center of defense of the state.
The High Court in Olomouc is an important institution in the field of judiciary. As the city is the seat of the region, there is also a regional office. The importance of Olomouc as an educational center is underlined by Palacký University, the oldest in Moravia and the second oldest in the Czech Republic, the Scientific Library and the Slavonic Grammar School, the oldest continuously operating secondary school in Moravia with Czech as the language of instruction. Today, it is not only the seat of the archbishopric and metropolitan area of the Roman Catholic Moravian province, but also the center of the Orthodox Church in Moravia. Due to its atmosphere and historical sights, Olomouc is a popular venue for international conferences and festivals. Academia Film Olomouc (AFO), an international festival of documentary films and video programs, has a tradition of more than 50 years. There is also an important Czech theater festival Divadelní Flora, then Flora Olomouc, an international exhibition focused on horticulture and plant growing with an annual attendance of about 80,000 visitors. The Autumn Festival of Sacred Music and the International Organ Festival are also popular. Younger events have also found their fans - the Beerfest in May and the Flamenco Festival in August.
Olomouc is known for its historical monuments, the Holy Trinity Column has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000 and its historic core is a city monument reserve, the second most important in the Czech Republic after Prague.