Olomouc - CARITAS - College of Social Work

Olomouc – a city in the heart of Europe

Olomouc, a city of approximately one hundred thousand inhabitants situated in the middle of Europe, is the cultural, social, economic and educational centre of Moravia which together with Bohemia used to make up the Czech Lands in the more remote history, currently making up the Czech Republic. The city's history dates back many centuries. Among the most significant events were the founding of the Moravian episcopacy at the Olomouc Church of St. Peter in 1063, it being declared the capital of Moravia in 1314 and the founding of the second oldest university in the Czech Lands, a Jesuit Academy in 1573. In the early 17th century, Olomouc was the second largest city in the Czech Lands, after Prague. The subsequent history of the city was marked by a number of truly notable events, as well, such as for example the foundation of the first Learned Society in the Austrian monarchy bearing the name ‘Societas incognitorum’ in 1746.

The scientific and technological progress which changed the nature of cities in the 19th century impacted on Olomouc as well. Industry developed quickly, giving rise to new factories, sugar mills, malt houses, breweries, ironworks, etc. in the city environs. The events of the year 1918 related to the foundation of the first Czechoslovakian state were also memorable for the city of Olomouc, while the subsequent Nazi occupation over the years 1939–1945 brought considerable suffering. No less painful in the history of the city was the period following February 1948 when the Czech Republic came under totalitarian Communist control. Since the year 1989, when freedom and democracy were restored in the Czech Republic, the university city has been thriving. Its beauty is affirmed, for example, by the fact that the close of the second millennium saw one of its monuments, the Baroque Holy Trinity Column, included on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list.

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