The capital city of the Moravian-Silesian region Ostrava is located in the north-east corner of the Czech Republic, close to the border with Poland, and marks the fusion of two historical lands – Moravia and Silesia. Ostrava is both the third largest and the third most populated city of the Czech Republic.

Ostrava, which significantly contributes to the Czech industry and university education, is located at a confluence of the rivers Odra, Opava, Lucina and Ostravice. The city of Ostrava was first mentioned in the 13th century. Formerly a small village was established above the river Ostravice (formerly Ostra), which divides Ostrava into two parts nowadays – Moravian Ostrava and Silesian Ostrava.

A great source of high-quality black coal was found in the Silesian part of Ostrava. Thanks to the expansion of mining and metallurgy, Ostrava used to be called “the steel heart of the Republic”. However, black coal mining ended in 1994. The history of mining tradition in Ostrava is still being remembered thanks to a former industry area Dolni oblast Vitkovice, which offers an interesting industrial architecture.

The proof of Ostrava’s importance in the Czech university education, is provided by the existence of two universities – Ostrava University and Mining University.

What to visit in Ostrava?

Ostrava is an important centre of culture as well. The Community Centre of the city of Ostrava hosts many cultural events, highly respected Janackova Philharmony is based in the city, as well as four theatres – Moravian-Silesian National Theater, Arena Chamber Theatre, Petr Bezruc Theatre and Puppet Theatre Ostrava.

The city hosts an annual international music festival Colours of Ostrava, and since 2013 a dance music festival Beats for Love in DolniĆ­ oblast Vitkovice as well. Science and Technology Centrum, Gallery of Fine Art based in the Art House, Museum of Ostrava, Michal Mine, which is the best preserved mining area in Ostrava, or the Museum of the firemen of the city of Ostrava deserve your attention as well.

In 2014, Ostrava was chosen as the European Capital of Sport. The city hosted the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship twice (in 2004 and 2015), the European Figure Skating Championship in 2017, or IAAF Continental Cup this year in September. Ostrava hosts an annual and respected athletics event Golden Spike Ostrava as well.

You can also visit a popular area Skalka located in a nearby city called Vresina, which offers a great fun for skiers, snowboarders or skaters, who have an unique chance to experience open-ice skating, and neither a ski park for kids is missing in the area.