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Along the Amber Route: Olomouc

I boarded an express from Prague, which brought me to Olomouc within the hour. The city stands on the River Morava, which drains into the Danube. I had crossed the watershed from the catchment area of the Odra and the Vistula, which flow north into the Baltic, to where the rivers flow south and east into the Black Sea; hydrographically, this was the mid-point of my journey.

I walked the kilometre into town along Cosmonauts’ Avenue, a broad, straight road lined by gleaming office buildings, which was designated an ‘amber trail’ on the town map. Crossing a modern bridge over the wide, green Morava, I turned into a cobbled street and made my way uphill to the historic centre. This stunning assemblage of churches, palaces, statues and fountains clustered around two connecting squares. In the centre of Horní Náměstí (Upper Square) stood the Town Hall, its astronomical clock refashioned in the Socialist Realist style with a mosaic showing a worker and a chemist. Beyond it rose a grandiloquent column on which a brace of gilded angels bore the BVM aloft to a triumphant Holy Trinity. The edifice was constructed on such a monumental scale that its base contained a chapel. The smaller, quieter Dolní Náměstí (Lower Square) was dominated by an only slightly less imposing Baroque cork-screw in honour of the Virgin Mary.

From Along the Amber Route by C.J. Schüler

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C.J. Schüler

C.J. Schüler