Olomouc ôˈlômōts [key], Ger. Olmütz, city (1991 pop. 105,537), E central Czech Republic, in Moravia, on the Morava River. Olomouc is an industrial city, with factories producing machinery, appliances, and food products, especially candy and chocolate. An ancient town, it was once the leading city of Moravia and was strongly fortified. In 1242, Wenceslaus II of Bohemia defeated the Mongol invaders there. Also at Olomouc, in 1469, Matthias Corvinus, king of Hungary, had himself crowned king of Bohemia. The city was held by the Swedes from 1642 to 1650. In 1758, Frederick II besieged it unsuccessfully. An agreement between Austria and Prussia was signed there (1850), dissolving the German Union under Prussia's presidency and restoring the German Confederation, headed by Austria. Prussia smarted under the “humiliation of Olmütz” until 1866, when it defeated Austria in war. Present-day landmarks include the Cathedral of St. Wenceslaus (begun 12th cent.), the city hall (rebuilt 13th cent.), and two Gothic churches. Also in the city are a university (founded 1566), the Cyril-Methodius theological faculty, and several libraries. The Marquis de Lafayette was once imprisoned in Olomouc's fortress. Today there are lovely parks and gardens where the fortress formerly stood.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Czech Political Geography