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Ostrava travel guide — Ostrava tourism and travel information

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about Ostrava

Ostrava (population: over 320,000, German: Ostrau, Polish: Ostrawa) is the third largest city in the Czech Republic and the administrative center of the Moravian-Silesian Region. It is located at the junction of the Ostravice and Oder rivers. Its history and growth were largely affected by exploitation and further usage 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” during the communist era of Czechoslovakia. Many of the heavy industry companies are being closed down or transformed nowadays.

Ostrava geography

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

The local climate is temperate with warm summers and cold, cloudy, humid winters. Due to the easterly position of the city the continental climate influences are slightly more prominent compared to the rest of the country. The yearly average of temperature is 8.6°C (January: -2.4°, July: 17.8°), the yearly rainfall is around 600mm.

Ostrava sights

While Ostrava is usually not in the top ten list of tourist attractions of the Czech Republic, there is a number of interesting places to see and things to do here. 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 the mammoth hunters settlement. Going down the shaft to

Another attraction, which is becoming more and more popular mainly among young people, is the Stodolni street (Stodolní ulice). It is actually a bunch of streets just next to the center, full of bars, pubs and clubs, bringing night-life to the city and thousands of visitors during summer weekends. There are currently more than 40 places to have a drink or dance on this street, each of its own style and atmosphere. There are a few bigger actions at this street 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 about 85 meters of height. During clear sky conditions the Beskydy and Jeseniky mountain ranges are visible.

Ostrava history

Ostrava has been an important crossroads of prehistoric trading routes, namely the Amber Road. Archaeological finds have proved that the area around Ostrava has been permanently inhabited 25,000 years ago. The town itself was founded in 1267. Until 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 have been raised in and around the city and the first steel works have been established. The 20th century saw further industrial expansion of the city accompanied by an increase of population and the quality of civic services and culture. However, during World War II, Ostrava - as an important source of steel for the army industry - has suffered several massive bombing campaigns bringing large damage to the city.

Since the Velvet revolution in 1989 the city is going through big 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 has closed down in 1998, both improving the environment dramatically.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ostrava".

This city is also known as: Ostrava.

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