Ostrava is with about 320 thousands ihnabitants the third largest city in the Czech Republic. It is also the largest urban area at the meeting point of three countries: the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia. The city is situated 15 km away from the nearest border crossing to Poland and 55 km from Slovakia.
In the year of 1276 was established the town's statute, making Ostrava the private property of bishop Bruno of Olomouc. Between the year of 1371 and 1376 the city was built. The coal was discovered (in the Burňa valley in Silesian Ostrava) in 1763. By the turn of the 20th century and during the so-called First Republic, Ostrava had become a developed conurbation with thriving trade and industry, boasting a diversity of cultural institutions serving the area's various nationalities. Since the Second World War it has further strengthened its position as the regional centre. In 1986 was opened the Palace of Culture and Sport (Palác kultury a sportu) – now ČEZ Arena. In July 1997 Ostrava survived the worst floods in one hundred years history of the city.
Ostrava was for a long time known as a dirty city – because of the collieries. But the work in many industrial plants has been stopped; the last coal was mined on 30 June 1994 and all the city's collieries have now been closed. Special filters have been installed to limit air pollution, too.
Nowadays Ostrava can boast a wide range of premises for exhibitions, trade fairs, cultural and sports events. The area around Ostrava is very attractive both in the winter and summer holiday periods and you can enjoy staying in a spa town or participating in sporting activities.
Interesting places to visit
St. Wenceslas' Chruch
The oldest remaining building in the city, dating from the first half of the 13th century.
It burnt down for a few times and was repaired in all architecture styles – renaissance, baroque etc. From 1889 St. Wenceslas has been a branch church (after the expansion of the Cathedral of the Divine Saviour). A general renovation from 1998.
Old Town Hall
Currently home to the Ostrava Museum (since 1931), and the original offices of the municipal authorities. It is the oldest surviving building from the original historical city centre, and the first written document of city (dating from 1539) is housed here. The tower has had an astronomical clock.
New City Hall
The largest City Hall complex in the Czech Republic, nowadays the building houses the offices of Ostrava City Council, the Moravian-Silesian Academic Library, an exhibition gallery in the foyer (including a bust of the first Czechoslovak president T. G. Masaryk by Josef Mařatka), a viewing tower, etc. It is a grandiose building, opened in 1930, with two wings joined by a central block, a viewing tower, a constructivist facade, a portico with 6 columns supporting a terrace with pilasters, and 4 bronze statues.
Cathedral of the Divine Saviour
The second largest church in Moravia and Silesia (after the basilica in Velehrad), a Neo-Renaissance basilica with a semi-circular apse and two 67m-high towers dating from 1889. On May 30 in 1996 Pope John Paul II established the Ostrava-Opava diocese, and on 1 September 1996 the basilica was made into a cathedral.
A coherent collection of buildings in the Art Nouveau style, demonstrating exquisite architectural proportions and carefully considered urban planning.
Plague Column of the Virgin Mary
The city's oldest preserved Baroque sculpture, dating from 1702. It has a two-level square sandstone pedestal with a stone balustrade, a 12m-high column with a statue of St. Mary, and two Latin inscriptions recording the year of its erection (1702) and renovation (1773).
A one-storey building in the spirit of functionalist and constructivist architecture, dating from 1926. Today it houses an art gallery. The centre's first collection consisted of works owned by the Ostrava collector František Jurečka, and it also contains a collection of Czech 19th and 20th century painting, 20th century sculpture, other graphic collections, and several centuries of European art.
What about fun?
Phenomenon Stodolni Street
Five years ago, Stodolní Street was known as a place, which suffered from many negative attributes of an industrial metropolis. Nowadays, it is definitely the most drawing and frolic place in Ostrava. There are more than 40 clubs and pubs around Stodolní Street. Different atmosphere, style and kind of music in the pubs make Stodolní Street really special. People can choose music from the early 60´s up today. House, disco, techno and hip-hop music - everybody can find their "cup of tea."
Moravian chalupa – Moravská Ostrava, Musorgského 9 (phone no.: 596 124 937)
Themed restaurant of the Mining museum:
Harenda – Ostrava/Petřkovice, Pod Landekem Road (phone no.: 596 131 803)
Nikolas (greek), Moravská Ostrava, Nádražní Street 124, (phone no.: 596 134 163)
La Strada – Ostrava/Poruba, Gen. Sochora 6176 (phone no.: 596 939 320)
Saigon – Moravská Ostrava, Českobratrská 6 (phone no.: 596 115 448)
Poseidon – Ostrava/Poruba, 17. listopadu 639 (phone no.: 596 911 222)
Wine bar (wines from South Moravia):
Zaječský vinný sklep – Moravská Ostrava, Poděbradova 2 (phone no.: 597 401 555)
Clubs and Bars:
Parník (jazz club) – Moravská Ostrava, Sokolská 26 (phone no.: 596 138 936)
Temple-Mlejn – Moravská Ostrava, Nádražn 138a (phone no.: 596 136 033)
Hobit club-Tolkien's pub – Moravská Ostrava, Přívozská 34 (phone no.: 596 116 173)
Rudná 114, Ostrava – Zábřeh
Multiplex Cinestar - Futurum
Novinářská 3178, Moravská Ostrava
(phone no.: 595 699 998-9, 597 310 808)
SAREZA – Sports Centre Poruba
Skautská 6093, Ostrava – Poruba
www.sareza.cz (phone no.: 596 923 618)
Bowling club Nagano
Výškovická 2, Ostrava – Zábřeh
(phone no.: 596 780 712)
Shopping centre Carrefour, Moravian Ostrava
Fitness Centre Wellness Gym-Frapp
Gen. Sochora 1378, Ostrava – Poruba
(phone no.: 596 918 567)
Avízo Squash Club
Slavíkova 6142, Ostrava – Poruba
(phone no.: 596 906 121)
Hala NH Trans – Tennis club
Komenského sady, Moravská Ostrava
For another information about Ostrava visit the website www.město-ostrava.cz