Czechast with art historian Miroslav Kindl about the city of Olomouc

A disclaimer: when it comes to the city of Olomouc, I'm not entirely a dispassionate reporter. Although I consider myself a child of the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands, where I grew up and to which I returned as a middle-aged man, I spent seven wonderful years in Olomouc – studying and later working in this beautiful, historic city at the heart of Moravia. My career has taken me to numerous Czech and international cities, including extended stays in Paris, London, Washington, DC, and, naturally, several years in Prague. Yet, Olomouc still holds a special place in my heart.

In this episode of Czechast we explore the roots of Olomouc's fascinating uniqueness with someone who is deeply knowledgeable about it. Joining me is Miroslav Kindl, an art historian from the Archdiocesan Museum. And even though it is associated with the Catholic Archdiocese (as the name indicates) it is funded by the state. Besides showing exhibits of important religious and spiritual value, the exposition’s first and foremost mission is to explain the millennia long history of this place.

The significant breakthrough in the cultural and spiritual stature of Olomouc occurred with the appointment of Jindřich Zdík, also known as Henricus Zdik in Latin and Heinrich Zdik in German, as the Bishop of Olomouc. He served from 1126 until his death in 1150 and as you will learn listening to this episode of Czechast, under his leadership Olomouc became one of the leading cultural and spiritual centers in this part of Europe.

The Zdík's Palace in Olomouc is also the place where the most important dynasty that established the Kingdom of Bohemia and Moravia. Originating from the mythical figure Přemysl, the Ploughman, who is said to have founded the dynasty, the Přemyslids first emerged as princes of Bohemia in the late 9th century. They ascended to prominence under the leadership of Prince Bořivoj, who was baptized into Christianity by Saint Methodius. This marked the beginning of a series of significant rulers who would shape the cultural, religious, and political landscape of the region. And in 1306 the last male King of this dynasty Wenceslaus III wast stabbed to death right here in Olomouc's oldest Palace.

These are some of the things we discuss with Miroslav Kindl, curator of the Archdiocesan Museum of Olomouc in this episode of Czechast.

Author: Vít Pohanka
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    Czechast is a regular RPI podcast about Czech and Moravian culture, history, and economy.