31. 8. 2011
The Olomouc region is rich in traditions and history and full of a colourful nature which makes is a popular destination for tourists. The local economy is primarily driven by traditional agriculture, however the manufacturing industry provides a whole range of investment opportunities.
The Olomouc Region is located in the central part of Moravia and partly in its northern part. Together with the Zlín Region, it forms the area of Central Moravia (NUTS 2). It consists of five districts – Jeseník, Olomouc, Prostějov, Přerov and Šumperk.
The region is divided into the northern mountainous part called Jeseníky with the highest point Praděd (1,492 m above sea level) and the southern lowland part named Haná. The Morava River flows through the region''s territory. The Olomouc Region offers a great variety of natural points of interest. Many tourists visit the protected landscape area of the Jeseníky mountains with the largest Moravian peatbog Rejvíz and the 45 m High Waterfall, water reservoir, the Dlouhé Stráně power plant and other scenic places.
The region covers the area of 5,266 sq km, which is 6.7% of the entire area of the Czech Republic. The share of arable land has been decreasing every year (39.7 %) while the non-agricultural land has been increasing (46.6 %).
Mechanical engineering plays the most important role in the economy of the region and is well distributed all over the region. Other major industries include food processing, textile, automotive components and electrical engineering. The traditional sectors are being replaced by production of automotive parts and the electronics sector. The Philips project is expected to attract a number of suppliers to the region. The region also offers a good location to investors supplying businesses in the Brno and Ostrava areas.
The Olomouc Region is an industrial area with developed services. Economy in Haná is quite stable, the Jeseník District and the northern part of the Šumperk District belong to weak regions, mainly due to their position and transport accessibility. The gross domestic product of the Olomouc Region amounts to approx. 5 % of the total GDP and only 75.2 % per capita of the national average.
Southern and central parts of the region belong to areas with the most fertile land. Crop yields - barley, wheat, rape and industrial sugar beet - reach the highest amounts of the entire CR.
The region has been very successful in attracting foreign investment including large greenfield projects such as the textile fibre plant of the Japanese company Toray in Prostejov and the Philips TV plant in Hranice na Morave.
Transport accessibility of the Region is provided by 600 km of railways and 3,568 km of roads, out of which 12.1 % are first class roads. Important rail junctions are situated in Olomouc and Přerov; a dense railway network is spread equally all over the Region´s territory. The road network is denser in the southern flat part of the region. There is an airport for small airliners with a status of an international airport near Olomouc.
Motorways and railways linking Brno with Polish borders run through the region. The well-developed transport infrastructure is one of the strong points of the region along with its good geographic position with links not only to other regions of the Czech Republic but also to Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Austria. The region is equidistant from Brno and Ostrava, the second and third largest cities in the Czech Republic, and their international airports.
The region has both densely populated parts in the south and parts with lower population density in the North. The labour force is mobile and flexible due to the well-developed transport infrastructure and public transportation network. Labour in most industrial sectors is readily available as most industrial sectors are well represented in the region. The region has the lowest wage level in the Czech Republic and a high unemployment which makes it attractive for investment.
The agreement on the foundation of the Praděd Euroregion was signed in 1997 by representatives of the Polish Association for the Development of Municipalities in the Osoblaha river basin, the Tourist Association of the Nisa Country and the Association of the Towns and Villages of the Bruntál and Jeseník Districts. The Czech side includes 60 towns and villages from the Association of the Municipalities of the Jeseník, Bruntál, Osoblaha and Rýmařov Districts and the surroundings of Vrbno pod Pradědem, the seat of the Czech part of the Euroregion.
The history of the Palacky University in Olomouc dates back to the 16th century. It has humanities, medical and natural sciences faculties and over 12,000 students. The region has a number of higher tertiary vocational schools, secondary vocational schools and vocational training centers.
Besides many natural beauties there are also a lot of historical monuments such as castles (Bouzov, Helfštýn, Šternberk) and chateaux (Úsov, Tovačov, Velké Losiny, Jánský vrch, Náměšť na Hané), tens of museums and galleries. The regional city of Olomouc with the second largest urban conservation area preserves a large set of buildings that are important for their historical, architectonic or artistic value and are located on a preserved medieval pattern of the town. The most important monument in Olomouc is a baroque Column of the Holy Trinity on the central square, which was placed to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000. There is a well-known Pilgrimage Church of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary (Basilica Minor) on the Holy Hill near Olomouc.
Tens of ethnographical and dance groups contribute to the preservation of folkways at Haná; folklore shows and festivals are organised in Náměšť, Prostějov, Kojetín and other places of the region.