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Palaces in Olomouc, Czech Republic

Romanesque Bishop’s Palace

The Romanesque Bishop’s Palace, formerly better known as the P?emyslid Palace, is located on the Wenceslas Hill. Its name is associated with Moravian Appanage Princes of the P?emyslid dynasty who had their castle here in the 11th century already. The preserved parts of the palace buildings however, come from the later era of the Bishop Jind?ich Zdík. It was him who built next to the Cathedral Basilica a Bishop’s Palace in the first half of the 12th century. The palace belonged, as per the preserved stonework, to the very top of European Romanesque residential architecture.

Western and northern perimeter walls of the Zdík’s palace have been preserved. Double and triple Romanesque windows are unique in their antique-style décor of columns’ capitals and archivolts of the window arches. On the north side of the Palace there is a Gothic Chapel of St John the Baptist with murals from the early 16th century. A set of murals from late 15th century with obvious influence from Albrecht Dürer has survived in a Gothic cloister from mid 14th century.

Edelmann’s Palace

Edelmann’s Renaissance Palace stands on the Upper Square (Horní nám?stí), opposite the northern facade of the Town Hall. It was created in the years 1572-1586 by combining two Gothic houses for a leading citizen and an alderman, Václav Edelmann. This two-story house has a richly decorated facade. The triangular segments above the arches of built-in loggias are decorated with a floral ornament, below the window sills there are stone reliefs of biblical scenes. The entrance portal bears the coat of arms of the Edelmann family and symbolized portraits of Václav Edelmann and his son.

In 1719 the palace became a city property. Fortress commanders, including the Field Marshal Josef Wenzel Graf Radetzky, began dwelling here from 1816. A commemorative plaque was placed on the front facade of the palace in his honour in the year 1892.

An annex of a rear block with a side wing and the main staircase was carried out for the needs of the relocated Town Hall in the years 1850-1853. A reconstruction of the palace in a historicist style was carried out between the years of 1869 and 1871.

The Petráš Palace

A Renaissance palace, which was rebuilt from two Gothic stone burgher houses and extended into the courtyard in the second half of the 16th century. The Baroque reconstruction work gave the palace the character of a prestigious seat with a staircase of a – so to say – chateau type. The frontage of the palace is decorated with openwork entablature above the windows and the entrance portal with atlantes. There are valuable interiors in the neo-Rococo style. An older house which stood on the site of the Petráš palace was heavily damaged during the great fire of the city in 1709. After the Free Lady of Petráš Anna Marie had bought the house, it was rebuilt in the Baroque style in the years 1725-1734. The Petráš palace has become famous not only for its architectural appearance and interior decor but also for the historical initiative of the son of Anna Marie Petráš – Josef. In 1746 he founded the first learned society within the territory of the Austrian monarchy, called Societas incognitorum, right in the Petráš palace. In 1875, when the house was owned by Jan and Lucie Ottahal, the neo-Rococo interiors, which have been preserved up to this day, were created.

Hauenschild’s Palace

This Renaissance palace was built for the bourgeois family of Hauenschild from Fürstenfeld in around 1583. It is a large three-storeyed building at the corner of Lafayetova Street and the Lower Square. Earlier, a Gothic building, of which only vaulted ceilings have survived, was standing here.

A large hall with original Renaissance vaults and front face with rich Renaissance stonework, such as the portal or a corner bay window with figural reliefs have been preserved. Decoration of the bay window draws ideas from stories in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. The facade underwent a Baroque treatment in the early 18 century; the top floor is a modern extension. Between the years 1744-1768, theater used to be played at the house. For this purpose a special room was built in the courtyard. A memorial plaque at the entrance to the pub called Hanácká hospoda recalls the fact that it was here, in the former inn “The Black Eagle” during their stay in Olomouc in 1767, where the Salzburg Kapellmeister Leopold Mozart with his wife and children took lodgings. Despite his illness the young Mozart composed and created the Symphony No. 6 in F major.

Salm Palace

A palace from the Early Baroque period, built on the site of three burgher houses by Count Julius Salm in the second half of the 17th century. The most appreciable detail is the preserved portal created by the stonemason Lorenz Seeger. Modifications in the High Baroque style realised by the master builder Wolfgang Reich from Olomouc modified and enriched the stucco decoration of the frontage. In 1791 the master builder Johann Freywald added a third floor to the palace and put up a mansard roof, which was replaced by a low ridge roof after a fire in 1906.

Information courtesy of Olomouc Tourism