Sunday, 3 August 2008

Křelov fortress

Last week, some friends and I went for a ride to the old baroque fort at Křelov. This year for the first time, it’s open to the public as a museum.

Křelov is only five or six kilometres from Olomouc, and the fort was built as one of the outlying defenses of the Olomouc fortress.
Olomouc has been fortified since the earliest written mention of a castle there in 1017, but the defenses reached their most complete form during the 1700’s in the period of military tension between the Austrian Empire and Prussia.

The weather was beautiful when we set off after lunch and we spent quite a bit of time horsing around and picking roadside fruit. By the time we reached the fort a storm had blown down from the mountains and we were grateful to be inside.

The Křelov fort is accessible on a guided tour and these are only conducted in Czech although an English text is promised soon. The guided tour costs 50Kč for adults and takes about an hour.

After the introductory talk, the tour visits the outer ring of fortifications. The interiors here haven’t been renovated and there’s one point that you need to be extremely careful to avoid a drop of several metres.
The inner parts of the fort are renovated and house a restaurant that is apparently a popular venue for wedding receptions and other functions. The final part of the tour is perhaps the most interesting, with displays of historic weapons, maps, charts and old Austrian medals and regalia.

When it was time for us to leave the storm was in full force, and our route home was across a hillside of open fields. The almost constant lightning convinced us to retreat to the restaurant. Two hours later when the storm had finally cleared enough we set out to slog through the mud to get home.

It was a good half day outing from Olomouc, but if it rains again next time I go, I’ll be riding the long way home on the paved roads.

1 comment:

Mags said...

Great post, Captain. It's great to find articles on places of interest that are located close by larger towns. Combining a couple of places on one trip is ideal.
I loved the picture of the girl with her bike in the mud. No matter the weather, the scene is still quaint.