Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Olmütz

OLMÜTZ (Slavonic, Olomouc or Holomauc), the second city and the ecclesiastical metropolis of Moravia, and one of the strongest fortresses in the Austrian empire, is situated on the March, about 110 miles to the north of Vienna. Like most Slavonic towns, it contains several large squares, the chief of which is adorned with a trinity column, 115 feet high. The most prominent church is the cathedral, a Gothic building of the 14th century, containing the tomb of King Wenceslaus III., who was murdered here in 1306. The principal secular buildings are the archbishop s palace, the town-house, the arsenal, the barracks, and the various schools, convents, and hospitals. The old university is now represented by a theological faculty attended by about a hundred students. Its library formerly possessed an important collection of Slavonic works, which was carried off by the Swedes during the Thirty Years' War. There is also an industrial museum. The manufactures of Olmütz itself are comparatively insignificant, but it is important as the emporium of a busy mining and industrial district and as a mart for Russian and Moldavian cattle. The population in 1880 was 20,176, besides which there is a garrison of about 6000 men. German is the predominant language. The chief part of the fortifications, which were originally constructed in the time of the wars with Frederick the Great, consists of a girdle of about twenty outlying forts. In case of attack the adjacent district can be flooded with the water of the March.

Olmütz is said to occupy the site of a Roman fort founded in the imperial period, the original name of which, Mons Julii, has been gradually corrupted to the present form. At a later period Olmütz was long the capital of the Slavonic kingdom of Moravia, but it ceded that position to Brünn in 1640. During the Thirty Years' War it was occupied by the Swedes for eight years, and in 1758 it successfully resisted Frederick the Great during a siege of seven weeks. In 1848 Olmütz was the scene of the emperor Ferdinand's abdication, and in 1850 of an important conference, for an account of which see Germany and Austria. The bishopric of Olmütz was founded in 1073, and raised to the rank of an archbishopric in 1777. The bishops were created princes of the empire in 1588. The archbishop is the only one in the Austrian empire who is elected by the cathedral chapter.