A Travellerspoint blog

Great cities of Central Europe: Western Czechia:

Olomouc and Brno

I had found Olomouc hunting for a stop between Kraków and Prague, which would otherwise have been an unpleasant six hour drive. My other option was Wroclaw in Poland, but ultimately I went with Olomouc because it bothered me to exclude the western Moravian region of Czechia from the trip. We'll gather Wroclaw into a Germany-Poland road trip one day, but probably won't pass by Moravia again.

After a late afternoon arrival at our Airbnb in a dull apartment complex in the neighboring town of Prostějov, we headed to Olomouc's old town for dinner. The food at the most highly recommended restaurant was average but the main square Horní náměstí was pretty in the fading light. The major landmarks are the Holy Trinity Column, an imposing sculpture with a small chapel nestled within its hollow base, and the Town Hall.

Saturday morning we returned to the main square for Olomouc's small but atmospheric weekly market, which offered an array of sausages and cheeses along with produce and crafts.

We explored the chapel at the base of the Holy Trinity Column as well as the Astronomical Clock on the facade of the Town Hall. We were right on time to watch the figurines at the top put on their noon performance.

We spent another hour or so exploring the old town's small network of cobblestone streets and discovered the surprisingly large and ornate Cathedral of St. Wenceslas. Unfortunately the area outside the cathedral has become a gathering place for the town's itinerant tipplers. The lower square, Dolní náměstí, has its own column that was built to celebrate the ending of a plague.

We were excited to get to Prague, but since there was no way we'd arrive in time to check out any markets we decided to stop at a well-known vegetable market in the Moravian capital of Brno. Unfortunately, once we had worked out the parking and navigated our way uphill to the central square of the old town it was clear that the last of the vendors was packing away their produce for the day. We consoled ourselves with a heavy lunch at a nearby restaurant where the star attraction was a shrimp shish kebab on a devil's pitchfork.

Having already done the work to get to the top of Petrov Hill, we found that old Brno was quite a beautiful place. At the very top of the hill is the Baroque Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul. The cathedral is surrounded by a pleasant park called Denisovy Sady. The picture of Cleo standing among the shaded columns of the park pavilion is one of my favorites of the trip.

On the way back down Petrov Hill we found a solitary sorbet vendor in the empty main square, so all was not lost regarding our market after all. We got back onto the road to Prague quite pleased with our stop in Brno.

Posted by zzlangerhans 13:22 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged brno olomouc czechia

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