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Olomouc Castle

Information on the Castle in Olomouc

You simply should not miss the Olomouc castle site situated on the Wenceslas Hill! Right here in 1306, the last Premyslid, the Czech king Wenceslas III, was assassinated. You can admire the Bishop’s Palace with its famous Romanesque windows, the Gothic St. Wenceslas Cathedral, today the seat of the Archbishop of Olomouc, or the Archdiocesan Museum founded on the initiative of Pope John Paul II.

The former Premyslid Castle has been a national cultural monument since 1962. The Olomouc castle site with the St. Wenceslas Cathedral, strongly modified by later amendments and alterations, is located on the Wenceslas Hill. Today, there remains little visible evidence of the significance and power of this castle. As time went on, the castle was overbuilt with religious buildings and the cathedral.

The most important part of the castle is now the St. Wenceslas Cathedral and the partly preserved Romanesque palace with a valuable architectural design of window openings. On Wenceslas Square there are some preserved remains of the castle such as some parts of the Romanesque walls to the south of the cathedral. The remnants of the castle still look impressive from the north and northeast sides. On a rocky headland there are towering stone walls, a remainder of the outer wall of the Romanesque palace with windows, gothic bay windows, the Round tower and other buildings bearing elements of the castle. Near the cathedral there is the Chapel of St. Anne, which previously served as an election place of Olomouc bishops and archbishops. The former Cathedral Deanery is now the seat of the Archdiocesan Museum, part of which, the Chapel of St. Barbara, is accessible to the public.

The first written mention of the castle in Olomouc is included in the Cosmas Chronicle. Cosmas noted that in 1055 the Appanage Prince Vratislav was fleeing his brother Spytihnev to Hungary, leaving his wife at a castle in Olomouc. Many important personalities since have passed through the history of the Olomouc castle. The Bishop Jindrich Zdík, son of the chronicler Cosmas, completed the St. Wenceslas Cathedral in 1131 and relocated the episcopal see from the Church of St. Peter to the castle grounds. In this way the castle became a seat of ecclesiastical authorities. The king Wenceslas III., the last Premyslid, also stayed at the castle and was assassinated here in 1306. In 1767 the young Mozart stayed in the house of the Chapter Provost on the castle grounds and composed Symphony No. 6 in F major here. Some of the recent celebrities who have visited the site are Mother Theresa or Pope John Paul II.

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