1490-1530 – Olomouc/Olmütz

Olomouc/Olmütz was a strong Catholic center; extant documents show that the city council wanted to preserve this prestige even with the onset of the Reformation.

The diocese of Olomouc and its chapter supported the interests of the Catholic Church. The Franciscans introduced new devotional trends and the Dominicans (including Henric Institoris) held discussions with the Bohemia Brethren.

Olomouc/Olmütz was also a political center. In the second half of the fifteenth century it was the more important of the two Moravian capitals (the other one was Brno/Brünn).In both cities diets and law councils met. Matthias Corvinus liked to stay at Olomouc/Olmütz because he was elected there. In 1479 Olomouc/Olmütz hosted a very important political event: the meeting between the Bohemian kings Matthias Corvinus and Vladislav II. Additional visits by Vladislav II and Ludwig of Bohemia on their way to Buda and Prague, and by other rulers continued this tradition. In 1515 King Sigismund of Poland stopped here on his way to the Congress of Vienna. Three years later Bona Sforza spent Easter at Olomouc/Olmütz during her journey from Vienna to meet her new husband Sigismund in Poland. Both her Polish and her Italian attendants were deeply impressed by the wonderful city. Bona Sforza mentioned that bishop Stanislav Turzo was a celebrated man-of-letters.

Olomouc/Olmütz was clearly the country’s third cultural center, famous for its learning and for the arts. The city was celebrated as a center of humanism, especially thanks to the city school of Saint Maurice, the chapter of the diocese, and the scientists at the bishop’s court. Here, one of the first humanist societies- the Machomania was founded in 1502. The city’s architecture was also transformed; many late Gothic buildings were adapted in early Renaissance style, with a particular focus on portals.

Antonín Kalous

© KHM-Museumsverband, Wissenschaftliche Anstalt öffentlichen Rechts.
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