On September 7, 2011 the plane carrying Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team members crashed in Russia. Aboard was the captain of the Slovak national team Pavol Dimitra. Olomouc had an impromptu memorial set up to remember Jan Marek, Karel Rachůnek, Josef Vašíček, the Czech players aboard that plane. Gone too young in their early 30's. RIP
You will often see the eagle with checkers on it, that is the traditional symbol of Moravia, one of the regions that has traditionally made up the Czech Republic. Traditionally, these regions were Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia.
Olomouc is in central Moravia, it was once the capital of the region. After the Thirty Years War, Brno became the capital exclusively. In 1949 the government reorganized the territorial division of the country. The main unit was now the kraj, which is similar to a Province. Kraje are subdivided into okresy, which are counties. This division was fundamentally different from the tradition division of Czech and Moravian borders. In effect, Moravia was no more, after 1100 years as a historical region.
Today, Olomouc is the administrative seat of the Olomouc kraj. The Moravian eagle is still part of Olomouc's coat of arms.
If you are starting to feel like not many people speak english and you're getting worried....
Olomouc borders what used to be considered Czech Silesia. This area extends from just outside Olomouc region to the Polish border. Ostrava, the large city nearby, is mostly in what used to be Czech Silesia. Ethnic germans were expelled under the communist government.
Riding on the train toward Olomouc (you have to get off on stop before) i shared a cabin with a group of what i thought were germans at first. when they started pulling out their Czech newspapers and magazines to read on the train i realised that hey, they were locals and would be delighted if you spoke to them in german.
just in case....
Olomoucké syreèky is the local name of the cheese that is named mostly just "Olmützer" or "Olmützer Quargel" in the rest of Europe. It is a ripened, soft cheese made in the Czech republic and you will recognize it easily by its typical yellow color and its very strong scent !
Take it out of the fridge about 1 hour before eating it !
And this type of cheese contains only 0.6% of fat and absolutely no chemical additives. The first written recepees of mention of Olomoucké syreèky date back to the 15th century !
Olomouc-Region-card is a way to save some money, when exploring Olomouc and the surrounding area. This card gives you free entrance to many museums, castles and palaces, you will get reductions in several restaurants and in few spas or at sporting facilities. Even Hotels, pensions and Camping-sites will give you some reductions (BUT not, when you had booked your room already in advance). Transportation is obviously not included in that card !
There are 2 types of Olomouc-Cards :
48 hours for 160 cK (ca. 5 Euros)
5 consecutive days : 340 cK (ca. 11 euros)
children untill 15 pay half of these fares !
The Holy Trinity Column is one of the popular places to meet in olomouc.
Early on a weekend, which happened to be relatively sunny, the wedding party and it seemed like two generations of their families were all dressed up and ready to take their pictures on the steps of the column. Another wedding party of similar size was waiting in the wings for the first group to finish.
Early on a weekend morning, before people were really out and about the TV news people were shooting there. they told me they always film at this spot, its so instantly recognizable and the light can be very good.