Mile 870: Olomouc
They say that less than 10% of the tourists entering the Czech Republic go somewhere else than Prague. We were among those 10% and drove 300 km to Olomouc, a city in the east, close to the Slovakian border; former capital of Moravia, the second region of the Czech Republic, after Bohemia, where Prague lies. Except the football team Sigma Olomouc, i had heard nothing of the city, but a quick search on wikitravel revealed that Olomouc is called the „hidden gem” of the Czech Republic, 100k inhabitants, a decent historic central square, second largest in the country, astronomic clock, UNESCO monument, university center with ~20,000 students. Interesting, a sort of Sibiu, I thought.
It was already late when we got to the center; too late to visit the apparently nice baroque churches. Swo we went towards the central square, immediately spotting the beautiful renaissance building of the city hall
guarding the indeed impressive central square
We took a round of the square and spotted an interesting sign in front of the post office. A building where you are not allowed to enter with ice cream, dogs, photocameras and… guns :D.
From the other side of the square, there was a good view of the city hall and the UNESCO monument, the Holy Trinity Column,
with 35 metres the highest column in Europe (!), done at the beginning of the 1700ds.
When we completed the tour, the moon was already up
and it went dark.
Representative for the story with few tourists outside Prague was the fact that in front of the astronomic clock, there was… this tourist.
The clock has an interesting story. They say it was rivalling the one in Prague in terms of beauty, but was damaged in the second world war; the Communist regime which ordered its restauration, replaced the ancient alegoric figurines with… workers, ingineers and scientists!
After 1989, the new government decided to… leave it like that, both as a memory of past times, as well as… because the old plans were lost :)..
One more nightly look at the two objectives
and then back home, through the light split by the column.
Tomorrow there is a 1000km long road awaiting…