Ostrava has always been lucky to have inhabitants, who liked to make things a little bit their own way, but with imagination and good taste. A very good example were even the mammoth hunters from Landek more than 25 thousand years ago and their unique carved out statue of Venus. The founder of the city, Bishop Bruno of Schauenburg, was proved to be a visionary as well when he built a huge square for its time in the second half of 13th century, which is still the heart of Ostrava. In the middle ages and the early modern period was the flourishing of the town several times harshly interrupted and yet a sleepy village started to develop to the fullest during the industrial revolution in the 19th century. It was The Rothschilds, The Gutmanns, The Vondráček Family and other industrialists have made Ostrava the real Ostrava with all pros and cons.
After the establishment of Czechoslovakia in 1918, another figure appeared, which gave a new impulse to the city, appeared – Jan Prokeš. A Long-time Mayor of Ostrava built a number of public buildings, including the iconic New City Hall. However, the promising period was ended by the Second World War. After 1945 and after The Winning February, the city experienced another stage of development, this time often at the expense of the quality of life of people from Ostrava. After the Velvet Revolution in 1989, Ostrava had to deal with the decline of industry and other economical and social problems. However, thanks to the wide range of the creation or restoration of tourist attractions, the rich offer of cultural and social activities and many architectural gems is Ostrava recently is becoming a more popular tourist destination.
What to see and sights in Ostrava
DOLNÍ OBLAST VÍTKOVICE – INDUSTRIAL MUSEUM
An open-air industrial area situated in the former ironworks of Vítkovice factory creates very typical panorama of Ostrava city. The first blast furnace came to use in 1828 here. This area is nowadays a venue of many cultural, sport and congress events and is ranked among top 10 most visited places in the Czech Republic
The second largest zoo in the Czech Republic, it is home to more than 4000 animals of 400 different species. Fascinating displays, new pavilions, extensive outdoor enclosures, evening tours, and popular feeding time shows. There is a newly opened visitor centre and restaurant, aviaries, Safari and the House of Evolution.
Antonín Dvorák Theatre
Antonín Dvorák Theatre in Ostrava is one of the opera houses in the Czech Republic. It is a part of the National Moravian Silesian Theatre, founded in 1918.
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.
EMA SLAG HEAP – ´HALDA EMA´
The Ostrava volcano“ is the only cone-shaped slag heap in Ostrava. Today it reaches up 315 metres above sea level, but originally it towered 327 metres above sea level. Its 12-metre drop was caused by natural settling and erosion. The summit is situated only 30 minutes walking from the city center and offers great view to the whole city.
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.
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.
PLANETARIUM OSTRAVA – ´PLANETÁRIUM OSTRAVA´
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).
Other sights in Ostrava
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 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.
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,
Thank you for the help from www.ostravainfo.cz
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