The Olomouc Region
The Olomouc Region covers an area of 5.139 sq. km. Its administrative centre is Olomouc. The settlement structure of this region differs from place to place; the prevalence of big villages is typical for the Hana area. In the mountainous terrain of the Sumperk and Jesenik districts, the settlement structure consists of small settlements. In the year 2001, 641,922 inhabitants lived in 24 towns and 268 municipalities of the Olomouc region.
The Olomouc Region is characterised by difference in altitude and by climatic difference, and this reflects on the economic importance of its two distinct parts. The northern part of this region is primarily made up of the Jeseniky Mountain Range, where the soil is poor, and the climate is harsh and humid. The southern part of this region - the territory of the Olomouc, Prostejov and Prerov districts - is mainly lowland, and as for its soil fertility (the high quality black soil) and for its favourable climatic conditions, it belongs to one of the most fertile areas of the Czech Republic. Since the ancient times, the territory of the Moravian Gate and the Hornomoravsky Ravine (the Hana area) has been used as a transit corridor between the northern and southern part of Europe, where important traffic arteries pass through - the motorway network, the expressway and the high-speed railway lane with its important rail junction in Prerov.
The raw material base of this region is poor. The only the raw materials exploited here are those meant for use in building materials - calcite in the Sumperk area, and decorative stone in the Jesenik area.
High quality soil in the Hana area and its favourable climatic conditions make it possible to grow malting barley, wheat and sugar-beet. The fruit growing and truck-gardening are also important. In the mountain and in the foothill areas of this region, there is prevalence of grassland and less demanding crops, such as flax.
The industrial sector prevails in the Olomouc region, and has the highest employment rate. The predominating position in the economy of this region is occupied by companies in the manufacturing industry from the branches of general engineering, metal-working industry and branches of electrical apparatuses and optical instruments. The employment rate in the agricultural sector is constantly decreasing.
The slopes and ridge of the Jeseniky mountain range provide for tourism and recreation. The central part of Jesenik is a protected landscape area. In the Olomouc region, there is also the Protected Landscape Area Litovelske Pomoravi; an area with excellent conditions for cycle tourism. The spa business, which is associated with the development of tourism, is important nationwide. Among the spas in the region, there are: the climatic spa Jesenik, Lipova-Lazne, Slatinice, Teplice nad Becvou, Velke Losiny and Bludov.