10 August 2011

Olomouc, Czech Republic--Pics Included

During my recent trip to the Czech Republic, my group spent a few days in the town of Olomouc, which has a population of around 100,000.  Olomouc is located in the Moravian province of the Czech Republic, and has many historical sites and churches.  Seeing that church history (broadly interpreted) is one of my major interests, I enjoyed seeing many of these sites.  One of the highlights of the stay in Olomouc was the opportunity to worship with the Olomouc Baptist Church and meet some of the members of the church.  Other highlights include some of the sites depicted below.  Info on some of the sites can be found at this website.

In my opinion, the most impressive structure (from a visual and architectural standpoint, anyway) in the town is St. Wenceslas Cathedral.  The origins of this building date to the twelfth century according to the website listed above, although the current Gothic look resulted from later renovations.

One of the more interesting aspects of a tour of this particular church is the opportunity to descend two floors to a mausoleum that houses the remains of some of the more famous bishops that worked in this parish.

The town square in Olomouc has several interesting monuments.  One of these monuments is the Holy Trinity Column.  From what some friends told me, it is possible to "tour" the inside of the column, although I did not do so.
 The square in Olomouc is divided into the Upper Square and Lower Square.  The dividing line between the squares is the Town Hall, which houses a tourism center and an astronomical clock.  The town hall is depicted below:
Another of the churches in Olomouc is St. Maurice.  I did not go into the main auditorium of this church because a service was in session.  However, there is tower on one side of the church that is open to the public.  This tower houses the church's bells and allows access to the roof of the structure.  The view from this roof offers a great panorama of Olomouc.  The view below includes the town square with a good view of the Town Hall.
 Here is a view from inside the guts of the bell tower in St. Maurice.  I am glad that the bells did not ring while I was walking up the stairs!
The final pics that I will post have little to do with the historic culture of Olomouc, but rather depict our lodging during our stay in Olomouc.  The first is a street-level view of the Baptist College in Olomouc, while the second is a view of the street from the third floor of this school.  Note how the buildings follow the contour of the street.  I've found this common in both the Czech Republic and London, England.  Note the cobble-stone streets.  Most streets exhibit this feature, although the highways are made of asphalt, much like in the states.

The stay in Olomouc was quite pleasant, and, although there were some signs of American corporate influence, such as a McDonald's in the town square (which was somewhat obscured by construction), the town has quite a bit of Old World charm and much in the way of history.

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