Ostrava: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Country Czech Republic
Region Moravian-Silesian
Little District Ostrava
Center Masarykovo náměstí
 - elevation 260 m (853 ft)
 - coordinates 49°50′08″N 18°17′33″E / 49.83556°N 18.2925°E / 49.83556; 18.2925
Area 214 km2 (83 sq mi)
 - metro 3,896 km2 (1,504 sq mi)
Population 336,557 (March 31, 2009)
 - metro 1,164,328 [1]
Density 1,589.2 /km2 (4,116 /sq mi)
Founded 1267
Mayor Petr Kajnar (ČSSD)
Postal code 702 00
Location in the Czech Republic
Location in the Czech Republic
Location in the Moravian-Silesian Region
Location in the Moravian-Silesian Region
Website: www.ostrava.cz

Ostrava (Czech pronunciation: [ˈostrava]  ( listen), German: Ostrau, Polish: Ostrawa) is the third largest city in the Czech Republic, however it is the second largest urban agglomeration after Prague. It is also the administrative center of the Moravian-Silesian Region and of the Municipality with Extended Competence. Ostrava is located at the confluence of the Ostravice, Oder, Lučina and Opava rivers. Its history and growth have been largely affected by exploitation and further use of the high quality black coal deposits discovered in the locality, giving the town a look of an industrial city and a nickname of the “steel heart of the republic” (Czech: ocelové srdce republiky) during the communist era of Czechoslovakia. Many of the heavy industry companies are being closed down or transformed.



Ostrava was an important crossroads of prehistoric trading routes, namely the Amber Road. Archaeological finds have proved that the area around Ostrava has been permanently inhabited for 25,000 years. The town itself was founded in 1267. Until the late 18th century, Ostrava was a small provincial town with a population around one thousand inhabitants engaged in handicraft.

In 1763, large deposits of black coal were discovered, leading to an industrial boom and a flood of new immigrants in the following centuries. During the 19th century, several mine towers were raised in and around the city and the first steel works were established. Industrial growth was made possible by the completion of Kaiser-Ferdinands-Nordbahn from Vienna in 1847. The 20th century saw further industrial expansion of the city accompanied by an increase in population and the quality of civic services and culture. However, during World War II, Ostrava - as an important source of steel for the arms industry - suffered several massive bombing campaigns that caused extensive damage to the city.

Since the Velvet revolution in 1989 the city has been going through major changes. A thorough restructuring of industry is taking place - coal mining in the area of the city was stopped in 1994 and a large part of the Vítkovice ironworks near the city center was closed down in 1998. Both actions improved the environment dramatically, although the Arcelor Mittal plant (ex-Nová Huť) continues to heavily pollute the Radvanice district and the surrounding area, resulting in one of the highest concentrations of PM10 dust in Europe.[2]


Period Name
1861–1864 Hermann Zwierzina
1864–1873 Alois Anderka
1873–1880 Konstantin Grünwald
1880–1888 Anton Lux
1888–1901 Adalbert Johanny
1901–1918 Gustav Fiedler
1918 Johann Ulrich (until 17 December 1918)
1918–1935 Jan Prokeš
1935–1939 Josef Chalupník
1939–1940 Josef Hinner
1940–1945 SS Sturmbannführer Emil Beier
1945 Josef Lampa (interim, for three weeks)
1945–1960 Josef Kotas
1960–1964 Jan Buchvaldek
1964–1968 Josef Kempný
1968–1971 Zdeněk Kupka
1971–1986 Eduard Foltýn
1986–1989 Bedřich Lipina
1989–1990 Lubomír Vejr
1990–1993 Jiří Smejkal
1993–2001 Evžen Tošenovský
2001–2002 Čestmír Vlček
2002–2006 Aleš Zedník
2006– Petr Kajnar

Geography and climate

Climate chart (explanation)
average max. and min. temperatures in °C
precipitation totals in mm
source: weather.com[3]

Ostrava is located in the north-eastern area of the Czech Republic, very close to the Polish (15 km) and Slovak (55 km) borders. It spreads over the northern part of the natural north-south valley called the Moravian Gate (Moravská brána) with an average elevation of approximately 210m above sea level.

The local climate is continental temperate, with hot, humid summers and mild, dry winters. The yearly average temperature is 10.2°C (January low: -1.2°, July high: 25.0°), the yearly rainfall is around 526 mm.

People and demographics

As of March 2009, the official estimated population of Ostrava was 336,557 inhabitants[4], living in a total of 23 districts formed by the unification of 34 original small towns and villages. Ostrava covers an area of 212 km². The population density is 1589 people per km².

Historically, among the most influential ethnic groups besides Czechs in Ostrava were the Poles, Germans and the Jews. However, during and after the World War II years the situation changed completely, as most Ostravian Jews were killed or transported to concentration camps (on October 17, 1939 the first transport of Jews to a lager under the Nisko Plan, and the Nazi administrative innovation known as the General Government was held in Ostrava - the first of its kind in Europe). After World War II, Germans were expelled from Ostrava according to the Potsdam Agreement. Thus, the population of the city, has become a mixture of Silesians, Moravians, Czechs, Slovaks and Poles. The mayor of Ostrava Josef Hinner opposed the deportation with the magistrate and German forces and started to organize the resistance to smuggle Jewish citizens from the city and surrounding areas. Due to his opposition, mayor Hinner was deported and placed in a concentration camp, barely surviving World War II.

Due to the recent and ongoing massive restructuring of the heavy industry in the area, the unemployment rate is 10.76 % (as of March 2009)[5].

Steel industry and underground coal mines

Night view from Hrabůvka towards Vítkovice and the city centre

Some of the largest industrial companies lie in the city of Ostrava. The Vitkovice steel works, located in the suburb of the same name near the city center, concentrates on metallurgy and machine engineering. It was established in 1828 and now it is undergoing a major transformation. The oldest part of the company, called "Dolní oblast" (the "Bottom area"), was closed down and there is an ongoing debate whether this area should be preserved as an industrial open-air museum or torn down. Another key metallurgical enterprise in Ostrava, Nová huť (the "New Steel Works"), established in 1951, belongs to the international company ArcelorMittal.

All underground coal mines were closed down shortly after the Velvet revolution in 1989, due to unfavourable geological and political conditions which caused mining to become uneconomical in the post-communist system, and also because of ex-mayor Evžen Tošenovský's drive to modernize the city's industries. The last minecart with coal was retrieved from new Odra Mine (formerly František Mine) on June 30, 1994.[6]


Karolina is name of area approximately 30 hectares in size situated 500m from the city's historic square. The Karolina area was originally used for heavy industry. After demolition of the old coking plant and clearing the entire area, the Karolina site can now be used to extend the Ostrava city centre.

In late June 2006 the Dutch firm Multi Development won the contract to develop the grounds of the former Karolina site. Multi Development plans to invest 13 billion CZK (EUR 450 million).

Many new apartment buildings, offices and shops are planned for this new city district. There will also be a new church, a high-rise building, a large park by the Ostravice River and a university campus.


There are four theatres in Ostrava: Moravian-Silesian National Theatre (Národní divadlo moravskoslezské). It has two buildings: Divadlo Antonína Dvořáka (named after Antonín Dvořák) and Divadlo Jiřího Myrona. Further there are Petr Bezruč Theatre (named after Petr Bezruč), Komorní scéna Aréna (Chamber theatre Arena) and Divadlo loutek (Puppet theatre).

Ostrava's Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra (formerly called the Czech Radio Orchestra) is one of Europe's better orchestras.

Ostrava also stands for the European Capital of Culture 2015.


Technical University of Ostrava

Main sights

While Ostrava is usually not in the top ten list of tourist attractions of the Czech Republic, there are a number of interesting places to see and things to do there. To the north of the city center there is the Museum of Mining (Hornické muzeum) presenting a unique collection of the coal mining machinery and equipment, a reconstruction of a mammoth hunters' settlement. Going down the shaft to see the 250m-long underground corridors and an original mining gallery from the 19th century is also part of the exhibition.

Just to the north and running west of the Museum of Mining is a fortification system known as the "Beneš Wall", a line of garrison fortifications similar to the Maginot Line. The hurried construction of the line of defenses was of great concern to the German military, and after German annexation was used by the German military to train for their attacks against comparable fort complexes on the Western front.

Another attraction, which is becoming more and more popular mainly among young people, is Stodolní Street (Stodolní ulice), actually a collection of streets just next to the center, full of bars, pubs and clubs, bringing night-life to the city and thousands of visitors all year long. There are currently around 60 places to have a drink or dance on this street, each with its own style and atmosphere. There are a few bigger events at this area throughout the year, the largest of which is the Colours of Ostrava - a summer music festival hosting many musicians and groups from all over the world.

The new city hall viewing tower provides visitors a panoramic view of the city and surroundings from a height of about 72 meters. During clear weather the Moravian-Silesian Beskids and Jeseníky mountain ranges are visible.

The Silesian Ostrava Castle is one of the city's most historic cultural monuments. The castle was built in the eighties and nineties of the 13th century. In 1534, the gothic castle was rebuilt into a renaissance chateau. It was restored recently after many years of dilapidation caused by coal mining under the castle. Today, the castle is one of the most important tourist attraction of the city. It hosted the Colours of Ostrava music festival in 2007.

You can visit a zoological garden located in Stromovka park in Slezská Ostrava. On May 1, 1960 it was opened to the public.


FC Baník Ostrava

Ostrava has teams in the three major Czech Republic professional sports leagues (football, ice-hockey and basketball). The city's two current League football teams are FC Baník Ostrava and FC Vítkovice. FC Baník Ostrava represent the city in the Czech Republic 1. League (Gambrinus Liga).

In ice-hockey Ostrava has one team HC Vítkovice represent the city in the Czech Extraliga.

The city's National Basketball League (NBL) team is the NH Ostrava.

Ostrava supports athletics event. Ostrava-Vítkovice is host of athletics meeting Golden Spike[7], one of the IAAF Grand Prix category meeting.

International relations


Twin towns — Sister cities

Date   Sister City
1947 Russia Volgograd, Russia
1957 United Kingdom Coventry, United Kingdom
1960 Poland Katowice, Poland
1971 Germany Dresden, Germany[8]
1976 Croatia Split, Croatia
1997 Greece Pireus, Greece
2001 Slovakia Košice, Slovakia[9]
2001 Hungary Miskolc, Hungary
2001 United States Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
2005 Poland Powiat Wodzisławski, Poland
2008 Kazakhstan Western, Kazakhstan
2009 Ukraine Donetsk, Ukraine

Ostrava has twelve sister cities.

The date indicates the year in which the city was twinned with Ostrava.

Ostrava is a sister city with these foreign towns and cities in the ordering:



  1. ^ Larger urban zone, Eurostat 2003
  2. ^ "Ostravsko už ví, proč má špatný vzduch. Špiní jej hutě". 2008. http://aktualne.centrum.cz/domaci/zivot-v-cesku/clanek.phtml?id=519268. Retrieved 2008-07-04.  
  3. ^ "Monthly Averages for Ostrava, Czech Republic". http://www.weather.com/outlook/travel/businesstraveler/wxclimatology/monthly/graph/EZXX0009?from=search. Retrieved 2008-02-28.  
  4. ^ "Počet obyvatel v Moravskoslezském kraji a jeho okresech v 1. čtvrtletí 2009 (Czech language)". ČSÚ - Statistický bulletin – Moravskoslezský kraj za 1. čtvrtletí 2009. March 31, 2009. http://www.czso.cz/xt/edicniplan.nsf/t/E80037B24C/$File/80130209q1d01.pdf. Retrieved 2009-09-31.  
  5. ^ "Nezaměstnanost podle krajů a okresů v ČR k 31. 3. 2009 (Czech language)". ČSÚ - Statistický bulletin - Nezaměstnanost. March 31, 2009. http://www.czso.cz/xt/edicniplan.nsf/t/E800388B88/$File/80130209q1g03.pdf. Retrieved 2009-09-31.  
  6. ^ "Historie hornictví - Důl František, Ostrava - Přívoz (Czech language)". Hornictvi.info. 11 August 2009. http://www.hornictvi.info/histhor/lokality/okr/08.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-30.  
  7. ^ "IAAF 48th Zlatá Tretra Ostrava / Ostrava Golden Spike". IAAF. http://www.iaaf.org/gp09/results/eventcode=4189/index.html. Retrieved 2009-10-01.  
  8. ^ "Dresden - Partner Cities". © 2008 Landeshauptstadt Dresden. http://www.dresden.de/en/02/11/c_03.php. Retrieved 2008-12-29.  
  9. ^ "Partnership towns of the City of Košice" (in Slovak). © 2007-2009 City of Košice Magistrát mesta Košice, Tr. SNP 48/A, 040 11 Košice. http://www.kosice.sk/clanok.asp?file=gov_s_c-00.html. Retrieved 2009-07-12.  

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Ostrava centre
Ostrava centre

Ostrava is a city in the borderland of Moravia and Silesia in the Czech Republic. It is the third largest city in the Czech Republic (Population 336,909) , however it is the second largest urban agglomeration after Prague.

Get in

By train

Ostrava has a main train station (Ostrava hl.n.) with regular direct trains to Prague, Brno, Warsaw, Moscow and Budapest. Journey times are just under 4 hours from Praha hl.n. station or approximately 3 hours with the Pendolino train from Praha-Hl.n. station as well.

By bus

The main bus station in Ostrava is Ostrava ÚAN. Student Agency offers 5 buses a day from Prague, via Brno, but the total journey time is 5 hours and 20 minutes.

By air

Ostrava has an international airport [1] called Ostrava Leos Janacek Airport with regular services to Prague (Czech Airlines, 4 times daily), Vienna (Central Connect Airlines, 2/3 flights on weekdays), Heraklion (Smart Wings, twice weekly), Rhodes (Smart Wings, twice weekly), Thessaloniki (Smart Wings, twice weekly) and Palma de Mallorca (once weekly). Hourly buses from the airport to Ostrava, a 35-minute ride, depart between 7:15AM and 10:15PM, tickets can be bought from drivers.

Get around

Tram & Bus

Tram and bus travel in Ostrava is inexpensive. One 15-minute ticket costs just 12Kč and one 60-minute ticket just 20Kč. Connections can be checked at the website for travel in Ostrava [2]. Transport is available 24 hours a day, however there is a reduced service between midnight and 4AM.


Ostrava is home to the famous Stodolní street, the biggest strip of bars and pubs in the country.

  • E99, Stodolní, +420 608 808 859. M-F 11AM-2AM. Sa 11AM-4AM. Su Closed. Friendly pub at the end of Stodolní street, near the train station. Gambrinus 26Kč, Plzen 30Kč.  edit
  • Flintstone's Pub, Masná 9, +420 602 150 652. W-Sa 5PM-4AM. Su-Tu Closed. Themed Flintstones pub on the famous Stodolní street.  edit
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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Proper noun

Wikipedia has an article on:





  1. A City in the far east of the Czech Republic.


  • Czech: Ostrava cs(cs)
  • German: Ostrau
  • Japanese: オストラヴァ (Osutorava)
  • Polish: Ostrawa


Simple English

Ostrava is the third biggest city in the Czech Republic. It is also the government center of the Moravian-Silesian Region. The town was started in 1267 and it can be found in the north-eastern part of the country. More than 300,000 people live in Ostrava. Bishop of Roman Catholic Diocese of Ostrava-Opava is also based in Ostrava.

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