"Ostrava" Ostrava by eledhwen
Ostrava Travel Guide: 158 reviews and 302 photos
Since ancient times, the territory of today's Ostrava has been the entry point to the Moravian Gate, through which commercial routes passed from the Baltic to the Mediterranean Sea. The mammoth hunters had their settlement on the Landek Hill twenty five thousand years ago; they were the first in the world to use coal from the local coal seams still rising to the surface even today to maintain their fireplaces. Members of the Slavonic tribe of Holasic had one of their numerous fortified settlements here from the 10th century. The region was settled mainly in the 13th century.
The city of Ostrava was founded in the first half of the 13th century on the bank of the Ostravice river at its confluence with the Lucina. The first written reference of the city dates back to 1279. The city is of oval layout with a large rectangular square (Masaryk Square today), which is dominated by the Renaissance tower of the former 16th century Town Hall (where today the Museum of Ostrava is situated) and nearby the plague column with the statue of The Assumption of 1702, the oldest preserved baroque statue. Next to the square there is St. Wenceslas Church from the early 14th century, a gothic building on Roman foundations, which is one of the oldest sacred buildings in the region. The ruins of the Silesian-Ostrava castle (the first reference dates back to 1297) on the headland at the confluence of the Lucina and the Ostravice reminds of historical territorial relationships. The discovery of coal in the mid of the 18th century and in particular, the development of minig itself together with the foundation of the Rudolf Ironworks in Vitkovice in 1828 and the construction of the railway from Vienna to Krakow which linked Ostrava to the outside world in 1847 were the major landmarks in the history of the city.
Civic housing has undergone numerous building phases, the most extensive in the latter half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, i. e. at the height of industrial development when the inflow of financial capital enabled reconstruction of the whole city. At this time, the Neo-Renaissance cathedral of the Divine Saviour was built, the second largest in Moravia, which has been the cathedral church of the Ostrava-Opava bishopric since 1998. The New Town Hall, office of the municipal authority, the tower of which with its viewing terrace for the public is almost 86 metres high, has become the city's landmark. "The gallery of the Town Hall tower provides a wonderful view of the whole Ostrava basin, borderd with the high mountains of Beskydy to the south, by the line of the Jeseniky mountains to the west and the Upper Silesian plateau to the east, the outlook from it is much bigger than that from the Landek Hill (270 m above sea level) and more convenient that from the Hladnov Hill (290 m above sea level) above Silesian Ostrava." (Archive of the city of Ostrava - "From the History of the Moravian-Ostrava Town Hall").
Other sights include The Jiri Myron Theatre, the first Czech cultural and entertainment centre, The Antonin Dvorak Theatre, the Gallery of Fine Arts and other buildings with interesting architecture with which famous architects are associated e. g. Felix Neumann, Bohuslav Fuchs, Deiniger, Camillo Sitte (designer of the urbanistic complex in the city's Privoz district). Jirasek Square (known as Kuri rynek - Chicken yard) in the city centre is outstanding for its comprehensive complex of art deco buildings.
The historical centre of the city has been declared a city preservation zone for its architectural and town planning merit. In 1967 a pedestrian zone with an area of approx. 6 ha was established as the first of its kind in the country.
The Mining Museum was opened in December 1993 in the former Anselm mine below the Landek Hill in Petrkovice; here the visitor may find the documents which chart the development of the Ostrava - Karvina coal district from former seams at the beginning of the 19th century to the present. "The Petrkovice Venus" (also known as the Landek "Venus") is a unique, 5 cm high torso of a small statue of a woman found in the locality. The complex also includes an instructive path about 5 km long.
The parish church of St. Catherine in Hrabova belongs among the attractions of the city. It is a very significant example of single-nave wooden architecture from about 1543. It forms a part of the complex of Silesian wooden churches. We must not omit the biggest erratic boulder ever found in the Czech Republic which is located in the area of Nova hut in Kuncice. The present Ostrava with more than 320 000 inhabitants is a natural metropolis of the whole of Northern Moravia and Silesia. It has very good road and rail links. At present times construction of the D 47 highway has commenced which will connect the city to the national highway network and improve connections with the continent. The city and all the entire region is served by the International Airport at Mosnov, situated at a distance of about 18 km from the city centre.
Ostrava is not only an economic, but also a cultural and social centre. It is a city with a rich cultural life and is also a significant centre of education. Besides many secondary and professional schools, there is the Mining College - Technical University and as counterbalance, the University of Ostrava oriented towards humanistic and scientific disciplines. Professional artistic schools play an important role, especially The Janacek Conservatoire based in a new building in the centre of the city, one of the biggest and most advanced schools oriented towards musical and dramatic arts in central Europe. The National Moravian-Silesian Theatre currently operating in two buildings belongs among top institutes. Today The Puppet Theatre and The Petr Bezruc Theatre are associated institutions. The new puppet theatre building in Cerna louka in the centre of the city was opened in September 1999 on the occasion of the traditional international puppet festival Spectaculo Interesse.
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- Pros:Great place to dance till the dawn!
- Cons:Industrial town.
- In a nutshell:A heterogenous city!
Swimming pool, open-air swimming pool, sauna, hydrotherapeutics, laundry, fitness centre, restaurant, beauty studio... more travel advice
The biggest minig museum in Czech republic which was built in late collier Anselm in Ostrava - Petrkovice. In the main... more travel advice
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