Sunday, June 26, 2011

Ostrava, Czech Republic

Yesterday, I took a day trip to Ostrava. With around 310,000 residents it is the third largest city in the ČR. It’s in the northeast part of the country about 15 km (~9 miles) from the Polish border and 55 km (~34 miles) from Slovakia. Ostrava is 181 km (112 miles) from Brno and the journey takes 2.5 hours by train.

In communist Czechoslovakia, the industrial city was nicknamed ocelové srdce republiky – the steel heart of the republic. After the Velvet Revolution, coal mining was shut down in 1994 and in 1998 a major portion of the Vítkovice ironworks was shut down.

Nové Radnice is the New Town Hall. It was built in the 1930s and is home to the Czech Republic’s largest viewing tower.

The Cathedral of the Divine Savior was built in the 1880s. It is the second largest cathedral in Moravia and Silesia.

Ostrava created Czechoslovakia’s first pedestrian zone in 1967. No main town square around here is complete without a Marian plague column.

One thing I noticed is that the city has a lot of socialist realism art all around which was kind of a surprise. Even the WWII memorial still has the Soviet hammer and sickle.

Ostrava is not really known as a tourist town but it did make for a good little day trip. The weather was starting to take a turn for the worse so I decided to skip checking out the Silesia-Ostrava Castle. 

There is also a coal mining museum and, from what I hear, the Ostrava zoo is a good one but maybe next time.

No comments:

Post a Comment