Olomouc, City of Stinky Cheese

I will always remember Olomouc (Oh-la-mohts) as my first solo excursion in the Czech Republic (August 24-26). It’s a decently sized university town that’s low-key and easy to navigate, lots of local kavárnas (cafés), čajovnas (teahouses), and microbreweries as well as parks.

After getting not really lost but just confused by the train-bus-tram situation on a dark Sunday night, I made it to my hostel, Poet’s Corner. As if the name weren’t enough, right? But really, shout out to them for a lovely, small and homey hostel where I met some great fellow travelers. This hostel is awesome.

The next morning was sunny and beautiful and ripe for exploring.

I was starving from not having eaten the night before (this was when I started to really miss late night Halal in NYC), so my first stop was this lovely cafe, Sant Angelo’s.

sant angelos

I got an omelette that was loaded with cherry tomatoes, Turkish coffee, and later a raspberry SOYA milkshake! I love European cafés that indulge my non-dairyness! (It was so good I went back again the next morning, just like with Muj Šalek Kávy in Praha.)

Then I did some sightseeing around the main square with Aussie traveler David, who took these photos:

At one of many of Olomouc's Neoclassical fountains.
At one of many of Olomouc’s Neoclassical fountains.

olo plague mn

Holy Trinity Column
Holy Trinity Column

The Holy Trinity Column is one of Olomouc’s most well-known attractions, a monument built to the victims of the Black Plague (yeah, it’s hella old) but also in celebration of surviving it. I think there’s a functional prayer room inside.

Olomouc also has a beautiful astronomical clock, like in Praha. But this one is purdier in my opinion.

olo astro

And I am constantly oohing and ahhing about the colors and architecture of every building the houses and buildings in the main squares, but Church of Virgin Mary of the Snow really takes some cake with its Baroque/rococo design:

church of snow IMG_0850

In need of some lunch, I headed to Svatováclavský Pivovar (pivo is beer in Czech, pivovar is beer bar) to try their dark brew and TVARUŽKY, the famous stinky cheese…

svato1 svato2 tvaruz svato3 tmavy

The tvaružsky was in round discs and served with traditional Czech plum jam on top. And yes, it really did stink. But was good…sort of.

The beer was definitely good.

Then for the main attraction! St. Wenceslas Cathedral is a huge, impressive structure that’s been through many architectural renovations (Gothic, Renaissance, Classical) and has the tallest church spires in Moravia. A must-see.

kostel wenceslas kostel wen2

Many sites are named after Wenceslas, or Václav (vahts-lahv), a founder and patron saint of the Czech nation.

After this, I proceeded to do a circuit around the city and got lost in a park for an hour before getting back to Poet’s Corner. Had a great night going out with some other hostel guests for dinner and drinks, and at one bar a drunk Czech told me a joke about Romanis being cannibals. Ah, racism 😦

Sadly, it rained the next day so I didn’t get to bike up to the famous monastery on Svatý Kopeček, Holy Hill. But I love you Olomouc and your friendly tea-serving waitresses, so I’ll be back!

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