Olmutz (Slav. Holomauc), a town of Austria, formerly the capital of Moravia, now one of the principal fortresses of the empire, situated on an island of the March or Morawa, 103 m. N. N. E. of Vienna; pop. in 1870, excluding the garrison, 15,231. It is well built, and contains several suburbs, fine squares and promenades, and numerous institutions of learning or benevolence. There are woollen manufactures, and the trade in cattle is promoted by annual fairs. The railway which connects the great Vienna and Breslau and Vienna and Prague lines passes by the town, and another line connects it with Brünn. The cathedral, the churches of St. Maurice and St. Michael, the archbishop's residence, the town house with a famous clock, and a theatre, are noteworthy. The university of Olmutz was founded in 1581, removed to Brünn in 1778, restored in 1827, and abolished in 1853. - Olmutz is traced to the times of the Roman empire. It withstood an assault of the Mongols in 1241, and a siege of Béla IV. of Hungary in 1253; joined the revolt against Ferdinand II. at the beginning of the thirty years' war; was taken by the Swedes under Torstenson in 1642, and retaken by the imperialists; was taken by the Prussians in the first war of the Austrian succession, but besieged by them in vain during the seven years' war.
Among the prisoners of state who have been confined in the dungeon of Olmütz was Gen. Lafayette. Since the war with Prussia in 1866 the fortifications of the city have been greatly strengthened, and a new park has been laid out.