The Zwinger Gardens – Olomouc, Czechia - Atlas Obscura

The Zwinger Gardens

Once home to artillery, this garden offers more peace today than it did during its war-torn past.  

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The Zwinger Gardens were formed as a result of Olomouc’s tumultuous past, in which religion, wars, and money all intertwined to create the foundation for this now beautiful location. The garden is often overlooked by tourists and even many locals. 

Across the garden, visitors will find various religious figures. The location also provides residents of Olomouc a place to reflect and feel secure, despite its association with a major war.

During the mid-18th-century, the Seven Years’ War was tearing Central Europe apart. At one point, Olomouc found itself surrounded by the Prussian army during the conflict. The garden area was once home to artillery batteries once used to defend the city from approaching German forces during the conflict.

Throughout the 20th-century, little attention was paid to preserving the baroque architectural elements that remained. At the turn of the century, discussions began about revitalizing the garden. In 2011, the decision was finalized. Artists and architects were brought in to recreate the environment from the past, despite having no visual sources regarding the garden’s former layout. 

Not too dissimilar from the Franciscan gardens in Prague, the area is the perfect place to relax and reflect. 

Know Before You Go

The area is open from April 1st to October 31st from 7 a.m.- 7 p.m. The garden is hidden but can be reached via a narrow entrance passing directly through the university buildings on Křížkovského street. Be sure to check out the restrictions, as no dogs are allowed inside the gardens.