Written by Hana Minarikova
Ostrava City is the center of the Moravian-Silesian Region and the third largest city in the Czech Republic. Located at the confluence of rivers Odra, Opava, Ostravice and Lucina River. Ostrava City grew as an industrial center of black coal basin in the Czech Republic. The city was called “The Steel Heart of the Republic” in the past for its mining and metallurgic industry. It has undergone significant changes since 1989. As a result of industry restructuralisation the last coal was mined in the city in 1994. The proof of the mining past is the Lower Vitkovice area, former industrial complex with a unique collection of industrial architecture aspiring for an entry into the UNESCO World Heritage list. In Ostrava City, there are a great number of theaters, galleries and cultural buildings. Throughout the year, there are various cultural and sport events organised. Among the most famous are: the music festival Colours of Ostrava, festivals of classical music Janacek´s May and St. Wenceslas Music Festival, the Shakespeare Festival, the Golden Spike Athletics or NATO Days at the airport of Ostrava City – Mosnov. University education is represented in Ostrava by Technical University of Ostrava, and more generally aimed University of Ostrava.
After extensive attenuation of metallurgical and chemical industry together with the closing of mines and large-scale investments to environmental damage remedy, Ostrava City was cleared significantly. More emphasis is now given to engineering and similar fields activities. Ostrava City also became the starting point for tourists visiting Beskydy Mountains and Jeseniky Mountains. Besides hundreds of hectares of recultivated natural areas, the city itself has a wide range of natural habitats, of which there are many maintained as protected areas. Natural rarities in the city include the boulders of Swedish granite (originally from Scandinavia). Another unique feature is the heap Ema. It consists of millions of tons of excavated tailings from Ostrava City mines. Heap has been smouldering for several decades, so it bubbles up puffs of white smoke containing gases such as carbon dioxide. Its surface is constantly heated by internal processes – inside heap burning temperature reaches 1500 ° C
For more information about the Moravian-Silesian Region where this place is located click here.