The city of picturesque Renaissance-era arcades, the Baroque castle, and the main epicenter of the religious wars. That is what people say about Kroměříž, one of the sites of UNESCO heritage in the Czech Republic. So what is it all about and should you visit?
Kroměříž was founded as a market settlement; it was located on the crossroads of the major trade routes. In the first quarter of the 12th century, during the period of church colonization, it became the property of Olomouc’s bishops. The initial settlement was flourishing and growing economically; a century later, it became a city.
Throughout the Middle Ages, Kroměříž faced several hardships: the town had been destroyed by numerous religious wars and then rebuilt. In 1848, the constitutional imperial assembly of the Austrian monarchy was relocated to Kroměříž for several months. This event encouraged the growth of the spiritual and cultural life of the city with various music festivals, exhibitions, conferences, symposia, and congresses.
In 2020, the most popular tourist destination among historic gardens is the Archbishop’s Castle, which is listed as a UNESCO heritage site. The castle is known as the residence of the Bishops of Olomouc. Its magnificent interiors are richly decorated with period furnishings. In the gallery, you will find paintings of the leading artists from the 15-18 century such as Titian, Lucas Cranach Sr., Hans von Aachen, and others.
The historic garden was reconstructed in the 17th century to the Baroque Garden and became an integral part of the castle. Today, it hides strawberry hills, square and round mazes, walls of cut trees and shrubs, and fantastic fountains.
Without any doubt, the first thing you have to do when visiting Kroměříž is to stop by Archbishop’s Chateau. Even though it is a well-known tourist attraction, the castle is worth a visit! Discover the unique architecture and furnishing, which stayed untouched since the 18th century. A visit to the Archbishop’s Chateau is available with guided tours only.
Moreover, you can visit the archbishop’s wine cellars. The cellars maintain a constant temperature and humidity throughout the year and are open to the public every day, except for the weekends (however, you can still reserve a spot.)
The second main attraction of Kroměříž is the Museum of the Kroměříž Region. Among the temporary exhibitions that change from time to time, you can always visit three permanent ones: History hidden under the paving of the city (1), the Max Švabinský Memorial (2), and Nature and Man (3). Short-term exhibits are great for children – a combination of art, craftsmanship, and mechanics. Except for the exhibitions, there are other spaces in the building. For example, a professional library with a collection of 40,000 volumes, a study room, and a conference hall for lectures and professional seminars.
Apart from educational activities, you can enjoy sports and wellness infrastructure. In summer, you can visit swimming pools with spa centers and saunas, experience horse riding, play tennis, or ride a bike to nearby villages. On the other hand, you can visit several places with fitness and aerobic courses, play hockey, or even go skiing in winter.
To end the trip, have a beer tasting with chocolate at the Black Eagle Brewery or Čtyřhvězdičkový Černý Orel Pivovar. They offer different kinds of beer (including draft). The most interesting thing about this place is that the owner has a chocolate store, as well. You can have a tasting of Belgian chocolate if you do not like beer that much, or do both!
Have fun and enjoy the best of Kroměříž.