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Contact details

Velké náměstí 115
767 01 Kroměříž
tel.: 573 321 408
e-mail: infocentrum@mesto-kromeriz.cz

Opening hours

May – September
Mon-Fri: 9am - 5pm
Sat, Sun 9am - 4pm
October – April
Mon-Fri: 9am - 5pm
Sat, Sun 9am - 2pm


Where to go in KroměřížUNESCO Tourist Route

History of the town

Kroměříž was first mentioned in 1110 when the settlement was sold by Olomouc prince Otta II Černý (Otto the Black) to Bishop Jan, called "Břichatý" (Paunchy), for 300 units of silver. Kroměříž soon became the centre of the bishop´s domains thanks to its convenient location. At the beginning of the 13th century the market village was declared a small town. Under the administration of Bishop Bruno of Schauenburk, an excellent politician and a diplomat, Kroměříž got its present layout. Construction of the town walls and the temple of St. Moric with collegiate chapter began. Dětřich of Hradec built on the work of Bruno of Schauenberk. He declared Kroměříž a town and introduced Brno town laws. The position of the town started to strengthen under the administration of Olomouc bishop Stanislav Thurzo who, after 1500, bought Kroměříž from Hungarian hands and rebuilt the chateau. Under the administration of Bishop František, the cardinal from Ditrichstein, there were major changes. The cardinal invited Franciscans to the town and adjusted laws for local Jews. Before moving to Mikulov in 1612, he established the Kroměříž mint. The town flourished, it had autonomy, a court of law and an executioner, and handicrafts thrived.

The Thirty Years War was a disaster for the town. Swedish armies under the command of General Tortensson with the support of Moravian Valachs destroyed the walls, broke into the town, murdered and plundered. Out of the original 244 houses there were only 70 shelters left. The destruction of the town was completed by a plague and a great fire in 1656. The new governor of the town was Olomouc Bishop Karel II of Lichtenstein-Castelcorn. When he came to Kroměříž, 1100 people lived in 150 rebuilt houses. Bishop Karel started with the reconstruction and building of new houses, laid foundations of Flower Garden, rebuilt the chateau and was one of the founders of its great gallery and library. He played an important role in the propagation of education not only in Kroměříž region. Flourishing of the town was disrupted by a plague which killed a tenth of the town’s inhabitants between 1715 and 1716. This destruction was completed in 1742 by Prussian soldiers, who plundered the whole region in a single month. Kroměříž people didn’t celebrate until 1777 when the town became the residence of Olomouc archbishops. At the beginning of 19th century a cloth manufactory was founded in the town. New building activity began in the town between 1832 and 1836 with the arrival of Archbishop Ferdinand Chotek. Apart from alteration of the Chateau Garden, the chateau was conveniently connected with the town. For this reason, the moat was filled up and the drawbridge was removed. Between 1836 and 1853, Archbishop Maxmilian Josef Sommerau Beeck played an important role in the following renewal and extension of the Chateau Garden, the water supply (so called "Max’s spring") and in building new cow sheds (so called "Max’s yard").

In the middle of the 18th century, Kroměříž was attacked by the Prussian army led by General Schwerin. In 1745, Kroměříž was visited by Maria Therese and her husband František Lotrinský, along with the Roman emperor. The next Prussian attack came in 1758. The chateau was rebuilt to its present look by the last Olomouc Bishop, Maxmilian Hamilton.

New economic elements were gradually established in the town. At the turn of the 19th century the first Kroměříž manufactory was in operation here. However, the development of the town stagnated because its basic function was still mainly as a summer residence. In 1805 after the victory in the Battle of Slavkov, Kroměříž was occupied by Napoleonic army but the town avoided being engaged in battles. The peaceful life of this small town was disturbed by events of revolutionary years 1848-1849. Instead of Vienna, the constituent assembly of Austrian nations took place in Kroměříž. The great dining-room of the archbishop chateau was turned into an assembly hall where 383 delegates of all countries of the Austrian monarchy met on 22nd November. The assembly, attended by a number of important figures of Czech national life (František Palacký, František Ladislav Rieger, Karel Havlíček Borovský, Josef Kajetán Tyl and others – their stay in Kroměříž is commemorated by memorial plaques on Kroměříž houses) and where Rieger said the memorable sentence – "all power in the country originates from its people and is executed by the means stated in the constitution", was a great impulse for expansion of Czech national self-awareness in Kroměříž and its surroundings. For some time, Kroměříž was the capital city of the Austrian empire. Progressive proposals of the assembly were considered utopian by the emperor and his advisors and therefore the assembly was dispersed by the army on 7th March 1849. In 1885, Emperor František Josef I with Russian Tsar Alexandr III and their wives stayed at the chateau and nearby, having private meetings. These honoured visitors had a great impact on Kroměříž. In 1887, the first Czech mayor of Kroměříž, Vojtěch Kulp, was elected; Czech town offices were one of the first in Moravia. Max Švabinský (1873-1962), later an outstanding painter, graphic artist and reputable teacher, spent his childhood in this small town at that time.

At the time when cultural and public life in Kroměříž was quickly developing, the town got its poetic name "Hanácké Athény" (Haná Athens) thanks to building many new schools. From the beginning of 19th century Kroměříž gradually gained the character of a modern town. After 1860, intensive activities of Czech patriots began – the organizations Moravan, Občanská beseda (Citizens´ forum), Sokol, savings bank group were established, names such as Kozánek, Šperlín, Urbánek and Lorenc became well known, sugar factory, gasworks and the malt house were built. Significant examples of modern architecture appeared. For example introduction of art nouveau to Kroměříž, the significant building of the psychiatric hospital, which was influenced by Vienna art nouveau, or B. Rozehnal’s partly realized projects for Kroměříž hospital after the war. Kroměříž education is famous all over Moravia so the town got its name "Hanácké Athény" (Haná Athens).

The development of the town was disrupted in 1914 by the war. The main function of the town was to ensure health care for the injured and ill soldiers taken from the front, to train new troops and mainly to provide food. World War I, establishing independent Czechoslovakia, the whole period of "the first republic" as well as the period of submission during the Nazi occupation and liberation of the town in 1945, all of this left a number of interesting “chapters” and moving memories in the town’s history. After 1918, several units of troops were stationed in Kroměříž and therefore building of new barracks was started. In 1928, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk was a guest in Kroměříž chateau; a year later he was here for the second time together with representatives of the military forces of Little Entente and allied countries, notably with Marshal Pétain. In 1935, Kroměříž was visited by Paris’s Cardinal Verdier and the following year by the President of the Republic, Dr. Edvard Beneš. Year 1948 was significant for Kroměříž because of the hundredth anniversary of the imperial assembly of Austrian nations. A group of organizers arranged a magnificent display of history of the town and the region in all aspects of life named "100 years of Czech national life".

Promotion of UNESCO monuments exploitation in Kroměříž and Ružomberok – information system