Ostrava, the third largest city in the Czech Republic, is situated in the northeast of the country and forms the heart of the Moravian-Silesian region. It is located close to the Slovak and Polish borders on the banks of Ostravice River and offers beautiful views of the Beskydy Mountains.
Ostrava got its name from the river Ostravice, which divides the town into its Moravian and Silesian parts. In the 8th century, one of the numerous hill forts of the Slavic Holasic tribe was built on the legendary Landek Hill. The stone castle of Czech King P?emysl Otakar II was built here sometime in the middle of the 13th century.
After many years of conflict, natural disasters, fire and plague, Ostrava the discovery of coal in 1763 in the Bur?a valley of Polish Ostrava resuscitated the economic life of the Ostrava region. After 1945 and through the 1950s, Czechoslovakia concentrated on the development of mining, the steel industry and other areas of heavy industry and Ostrava became its centre.
Cultural and social life were supported by two permanent theatres, the Antonín Dvo?ák Theatre and Jirí Myron Theatre. An amateur puppet theatre by the name of Wooden Kingdom was opened in 1946
for younger audiences, which was later renamed the professional Puppet Theatre in 1953. In 1954, today’s Janá?ek Philharmonic Orchestra Ostrava began putting on its concert performances.
Considerable political and economic changes came after 1989. In 2000, Ostrava became the administrative centre of the newly established Ostrava Region, today’s Moravian-Silesian Region.
What to see:-
THE NEW CITY HALL – ‘NOVÁ RADNICE’ with the highest viewing tower in the country, stands on an impressive square at the edge of the city centre. Ride the lift to the top of the tower (73 metres) for a guided tour, and learn more about the city’s past and present.
COMENIUS PARK ‘KOMENSKÉHO SADY’ Named after the great Czech educator Comenius, this park has a monument to Soviet war heroes, outdoor yoga, sports training, and even open-air dance sessions.
WORLD OF MINIATURES MINIUNI – ‘SVET MINIATUR MINIUNI’ The Black Meadow exhibition centre hides this amazing miniature world featuring models of famous European landmarks. Travel all around the globe in a single afternoon. Who could resist? Pose for a photo next to the Eiff el Tower, the Pyramids of Egypt, or London’s famous Big Ben.
THE FAIRYTALE CLOCK – ‘POHÁDKOVÝ ORLOJ’ casts its magic spell every two hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Look up at the windows of Ostrava’s Puppet Theatre to see a two-minute performance showing the hero doing battle with the grim reaper, featuring four supporting characters – an angel, a king, a queen, and the devil. For a truly magic
SILESIAN-OSTRAVA CASTLE – ‘SLEZSKOOSTRAVSKÝ HRAD’ The castle is located at the meeting point of the Ostravice and Lu?ina rivers in the very heart of the city, just a short walk from Masaryk Square. Over the years the castle has sunk 16 metres due to the collapse of underground mine tunnels. Now it is a favourite year-round venue for a range of events, especially for families with children. The castle also hosts Ostrava’s renowned summer Shakespeare festival.
FAIRYTALE GHOST CELLAR – ‘POHÁDKOVÝ SKLEP STRASIDEL’ Packed with mysterious supernatural creatures, this fun family attraction is perfect for families with small children.
STODOLNÍ STREET – ‘STODOLNÍ ULICE’ Ostrava’s legendary entertainment district, with over 60 bars, clubs, pubs, restaurants and cafés off ering an amazing variety of food, drink, music, and much more. Stodolní takes its inspiration from New York – it’s the street that never sleeps.
MASARYK SQUARE – ‘MASARYKOVO NÁMESTÍ’ At the heart of Ostrava’s city centre, Masaryk Square can boast a beautiful historic column with a fi gure of the Virgin Mary (1702) and a Baroque statue of St Florian. Travel back in time by following the route marked out in the paving stones, which starts near the main entrance to the Laso department store. Admire the historic Schönhof building (known locally as ‘The house with seven doors’) or the Reisz building, designed by the renowned Viennese architect Wunibald Deininger.
OSTRAVA ZOO The second largest zoo in the Czech Republic, it is home to 400 diff erent species – including Ostrava’s very own elephant Rashmi, who was born here in 2011. Fascinating displays, new pavilions, extensive outdoor enclosures, evening tours, and popular feeding time shows. There is a newly opened visitor centre and restaurant, as well as a beautiful new aviary. The zoo is currently building a new safari centre and a special pavilion telling the story of evolution.
LANDEK PARK – MINING MUSEUM – ‘HORNICKÉ MUZEUM’ This mining museum takes you on a tour of the historic Anselm Colliery, with a former miner as your guide. Get ready for an amazing experience as you go down into the old mine tunnels. You can also try out some authentic miners’ specialities – hearty food and strong drink. Immerse yourself in the rich culture of this proud profession.
JOHANN PALISA OBSERVATORY AND PLANETARIUM – ‘HV?ZDÁRNA A PLANETÁRIUM JOHANNA PALISY’ Take the blue-marked path to the planetarium, where you can learn all you ever wanted to know about the universe or just spend a while relaxing to quiet music under the dome with its beautiful projection of the night sky (available in all weathers).
OSTRAVA MUSEUM – ‘OSTRAVSKÉ MUZEUM’ This fascinating museum is situated at the heart of Ostrava in the beautiful historic building of the former city hall, dating back to the 16th century. Every hour you can enjoy the pretty chimes of the 22 bells in the clock tower. The museum has extensive exhibitions on Ostrava’s history and the local landscape.
BREWERY MUSEUM – ‘PIVOVARSKÉ MUZEUM’ Beer is at the very heart of Czech culture. Take a guided tour of Ostrava’s brewery to fi nd out more about the brewing process and the history of this refreshing nectar. Of course, no tour would be complete without a tasting session – the authentic fl avour of Ostrava
Cathedral and Churches in Ostrava
- The CATHEDRAL OF THE DIVINE SAVIOUR – ‘KATEDRÁLA BOZSKÉHO SPASITELE’, is the second largest cathedral in Moravia and Czech Silesia
- The CHURCH OF ST WENCESLAS – ‘FILIÁLNÍ KOSTEL SVATÉHO VÁCLAVA’, is Ostrava’s oldest surviving historic building,
- There’s also a EVANGELICAL CHURCH OF CHRIST -‘EVANGELICKÝ KRIST?V KOSTEL’, known simply as the “red church”, which is a major Ostrava landmark,
- The CHAPEL OF ST ELIZABETH -‘KAPLE SVATÉ ALZBETY’, was built to commemorate the life of Austria’s Empress Elisabeth (Sissi),
- The VIRGIN MARY´S IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CHURCH -‘KOSTEL NEPOSKVRN?NÉHO POCETÍ PANNY MARIE’, was designed by the famous Viennese architect Camillo Sitte,
- The ST PAUL THE APOSTLE CHURCH -‘KOSTEL SVATÉHO PAVLA APOSTOLA’, was built with the support of the Rothschilds, who owned the Vítkovice Ironworks,
- The ST JOSEPH CHURCH -‘KOSTEL SVATÉHO JOSEFA’, was built by the Salesians of Don Bosco
- The ST JOSEPH CHURCH -‘KOSTEL SVATÉHO JOSEFA’, in Silesian Ostrava has sunk by 8 metres as mine tunnels under it have collapsed
- The MARY THE QUEEN CHURCH -‘KOSTEL PANNY MARIE KRÁLOVNY’, is the third largest church in the Moravian-Silesian Region
- The CHURCH OF ST CATHERINE -‘FARNÍ KOSTEL SVATÉ KATERINY PANNY A MUCEDNICE’, was destroyed by fire, but we’ve built a perfect replica
- The CHURCH OF THE HOLY GHOST -‘KOSTEL DUCHA SVATÉHO’, is refreshingly unusual
- The CHAPEL OF ST MARY -‘MARIÁNSKÁ KAPLE’, is an Orthodox cathedral named after the Virgin Mary
If you want to see the amazing leaning church of ST PETER OF ALCANTARA ‘KOSTEL SVATÉHO PETRA Z ALKANTARY’, you’ll have to leave Ostrava – but it’s not far away, near the town of Karviná,
In the centre of Ostrava you will find the largest entertainment district in the whole of the Czech Republic, featuring over 60 clubs. On weekdays Stodolni Street is a pleasant and quiet promenade with hotels, restaurants, cafes and bars between the railway station and bearing the same name and Nádrazni Street. But at weekends it becomes a busy dancing centre of entertainment. Clubs and pubs with terraces start bursting at the seams and later in the night the whole street becomes one large party.