Ostrava is the Czech Republic’s third largest city wedged in the far northeastern part of the country. It serves as the administrative capital of the Moravian-Silesian Region. The city is known for its industrial heritage, vibrant culture, and rich history.
It wasn’t always that way.
The history of mining in Ostrava is closely tied to the city’s industrial development and played a significant role in shaping its identity. Ostrava became a prominent mining center due to the vast coal reserves found in the region. However, when the last mine in Ostrava closed in 1994, it left the city in economic collapse, with a gritty, sooty smattering of factories, a towering skyline of headstocks and blast furnaces, and an extensive underground of abandoned shafts.
Ostrava was faced with the challenging task of reinventing itself. Reinvent it did.
Ostrava offers a mix of historical landmarks, modern architecture, and diverse entertainment options, making it an intriguing destination for visitors.
Explore the Landek Park Mining Museum
Situated on the site of former coal mines, Landek Park Mining Museum offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the heritage of coal mining in the region. You can descend into the underground tunnels, learn about mining history, experience the daily life of a miner and see the impressive machinery used in the mining industry.
Celebrating the transition from past to present, nature trails surrounding the museum are located in what is now a reclaimed mining landscape. Outdoor enthusiasts can take in the natural beauty of the area and be impressed with the ecological restoration efforts that have occurred here.
Visit Former Mining Works of Dolní Vítkovice
The iconic industrial site of Dolní Vítkovice represents what was once a major ironworks and coal mine complex turned cultural and education center. This was one of the largest iron and steel production centers in Central Europe, playing a significant role in the industrialization of the region. The massive complex consisted of blast furnaces, coke ovens, rolling mills, and other industrial facilities.
Visitors can tour the industrial area and climb to the top of Blast Furnace No. 1 for panoramic views of Ostrava. Bolt Tower also offers impressive vistas of the area at the top of its observation tower constructed from the framework of a former gas tank.
The entire Dolní Vítkovice complex has also been transformed into an Industrial Landscape Park. It combines the industrial heritage with green spaces, walking paths, and recreational areas where guests can enjoy the park’s unique blend of history, nature, and culture.
Stroll Down Stodolní Street
Experience the vibrant nightlife of Ostrava on Stodolní Street, a bustling pedestrian zone lined with numerous bars, restaurants, and clubs. It’s a popular spot to enjoy live music, sample local cuisine, and socialize with locals and tourists alike.
The area offers a diverse mix of venues with live music performances showcasing local bands, international acts, concerts, and other genres.
Stodolní Street also includes numerous culinary options. You’ll find restaurants and eateries serving both traditional Czech cuisine as well as many international dishes.
Silesian Ostrava Castle
Also known as the Ostravice Castle, this chateau is situated on a hill overlooking the city and is known for its architectural beauty and historical significance.
The castle dates back to the 13th century with a long and storied history. Originally built as a Gothic fortress, it was later renovated in Renaissance and Baroque styles. The castle’s current appearance is primarily Baroque, with ornate façades, elegant interior features and a distinctive tower.
Once serving as a residence for various noble families, today, the castle houses the Ostrava City Museum with exhibits that provide insights into the history, culture, and development of the city and the region.
The castle is surrounded by beautiful parkland and gardens, providing a tranquil escape from the bustling city below. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll through the castle grounds, enjoy the scenic views, and relax in the peaceful atmosphere. From the castle’s tower, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of Ostrava and the surrounding area.
This zoological park is home to a diverse range of animal species from around the world. Visitors can see lions, tigers, giraffes, elephants, zebras, monkeys, penguins, reptiles, birds, and much more. The zoo aims to provide spacious and natural habitats for the animals, ensuring their well-being and promoting conservation efforts.
One of the highlights of the Ostrava Zoo is the African Savannah exhibit which recreates the natural environment of African animals. Visitors can observe species like zebras, giraffes, antelopes, and ostriches roaming in a large open area that resembles their native habitats.
Monkey World offers insights into the behavior and characteristics of these intelligent creatures. And popular with children, the zoo has a special designed area called the Children’s Zoo where the youngsters can feed and pet domestic animals like goats, sheep, ponies and rabbits.
In addition to its animal exhibits, the Ostrava Zoo features beautifully landscaped botanical gardens where visitors can explore a variety of plant species, including native flora and exotic plants from different regions.
Antonín Dvořák Theatre
With a rich history dating back to 1907, this theatre named after renowned Czech composer Anton Dvořák, served as a cultural center for the city’s German-speaking community. After World War II however, it was renamed to honor the composer.
The theater showcases an impressive neo-Baroque architectural style and features a grand façade adorned with intricate details, including sculptures and decorative elements. The interior of the theater is equally stunning, with elegant auditoriums and ornate decorations.
Antonín Dvořák Theatre is renowned for its diverse repertoire of performances. It hosts a wide range of theatrical productions, including dramas, comedies, musicals, ballets, and operas. It is home to several resident ensembles, such as the Janáček Opera, the Ostrava Drama Theatre, and the Ballet of the National Moravian-Silesian Theatre.
Every city has a park and Ostrava’s, also known as Komenského Park, includes a beautiful lake, walking paths, playgrounds, and recreational facilities. Because of its ideal location in the center of the city, it’s easily accessible to residents and visitors alike.
The park is known for its lush greenery, stunning flowerbeds, and well-maintained lawns. It offers a quiet escape from the bustling city surrounding it, and provides a peaceful environment for relaxation and recreation.
One of the highlights of the park is its picturesque lake, home to a beautiful fountain that adds to the park’s charm.
Walking and jogging paths meandering through the park provide to enjoy the park’s natural beauty and fresh air.
Colours Of Ostrava Festival
For those in the region during the summer, it’s worth a trip for the renowned Colours of Ostrava Festival held in the historic industrial Dolní Vítkovice area. It’s one of the largest multi-genre musical festivals in the Czech Republic, attracting both national and international artists.
The festival features a diverse lineup of musical performances including rock, pop, indie, electronic, jazz, world music, and more. Both established artists and emerging talents take to the stages to entertain its festival-goers.
These are just some of things visitors can expect to find in Ostrava. The city has done an amazing job of blending its past industrial heritage with its fascinating cultural experiences and eco-friendly natural attractions. It’s definitely worth a visit.architecture