Ostrava monuments

SILESIAN-OSTRAVA CASTLE

SILESIAN-OSTRAVA CASTLE

The Silesian Ostrava Castle is the city's most historic cultural monument. It was built in the second half of the 13th century, close to the confluence of the Lučina and Ostravice rivers, where a fortified Slavonic settlement had once stood. Originally built for military purposes, it served as a defensive stronghold against the Moravian Lands on the Polish border, stretching from Opava, through Hlučín and Krakow to Těšín. Its importance is borne out by the fact that it was enclosed by a 4-m high and 2.5-m broad wall as early as the 13th century. In 1534, the Gothic castle was rebuilt into a Renaissance chateau, and traces of this alteration can still be seen in parts of the ruin and in the design of the interior. In 1872, the castle burnt down, but was later re-built. The main cause of its destruction was coal-mining, with seams worked directly beneath the castle. The whole structure sank 16 m into the ground!

The original two-storey palace structure with its protective wall system has been preserved to this day. The castle has been reconstructed and visitors now can view in its interior several permanent exhibitions telling the history of the building and the city of Ostrava , an exhibition of torture instruments, the castle’s vaulted cellars with witches, fresh-water fish aquaria and the castle gallery.

 

MINIUNI

MINIUNI

The Miniuni is an interesting attraction for both children and adults. Spread out over 1.5 hectares visitors can see more than 20 models of significant buildings of European cities, like Big Ben, Old Town Hall or one of the best-known landmarks of Berlin the Brandenburg Gate, all dominated by the 12 metre-high Eiffel tower. The models are built at a scale of 1:25. Recently added are the Wonders of the Ancient Times. There are railway lines with little trains running across the grounds and waterways with a steamship.  Special exhibitions and entertainment events for children are organized here regularly. The restaurant invites visitors for rest and refreshment offering them specialities of European cuisine.

 

THE FAIRYTALY GHOST CELLAR

The Spooks in the Cellar are located in the 150 year old Black Meadow (Černá louka) Exhibition Grounds in the centre of Ostrava. Brave visitors work their way through the Spider Web, Hell, Pirate Island, the Hall of Industrial Ghosts, the Fairy-Tale Kingdom, the Enchanted Forrest, the Ice Hall, the Dragon's Belly, and the Passage of Bats leading to the Dwarf-resplendent Cave of Snow White. This unique exhibition of fairy-tale creatures is continually expanding, and is an excellent place to spend a family afternoon.

 

THE OKD MINING MUSEUM

THE OKD MINING MUSEUM

Located on the former Anselm Mine (one of the first to be established at the end of the 18th century in what is today the Petřkovice District of Ostrava), the Mining Museum was opened in the early 1990’s. It is the largest mining museum in the Czech Republic. In 1993, a group of enthusiasts opened the first part of the museum, which has become a popular tourist destination for foreigners and Czechs alike.

The coal seams of the former Anselm Mine surface at the Landek National Nature Reserve, a world famous site in terms of geology, archaeology, history, natural sciences and mining. Man was using black coal here more that 25 000 years ago! The Venus of Landek probably made the site most famous – it is a small, carved figure of a woman, probably the thinnest Venus in Europe. An ancient Mamoth Hunters’ camp has also been reconstructed.

A unique exhibition of the Mining Museum highlights the evolution of coal mining in the Ostrava-Karvina region, as well as mining technology, and rescue services. In fact, it is the largest exhibition of its kind in the world. With the collection of miner’s lights and hand tools, visitors get a real taste of the hard work and dedication the men of the mines had. The tour includes a view of mining in the original seams with wooden braces, mining machines and belt conveyors. The seams were often so narrow, that miners had to work lying down.

The museum is slowly growing. One of the old halls – the compressor room – is today used as an unusual concert hall or conference hall. Outdoor space is also used to hold social events all year round. In addition to the annual Miner’s Day celebrations, the Mining Museum is a popular site for Children’s Day and other holidays. The site includes sports and recreation facilities, bowling, a rope-climbing centre, cycling trails and a children’s corner. The Harenda Miner’s Pub is a great place to sit down for a cool beer and period food. The interior is decorated with all kinds of mining memorabilia.

 

THE VIEWING TOWER OF THE NEW CITY HALL

THE VIEWING TOWER OF THE NEW CITY HALL

The Viewing Tower is one of the city's most popular tourist attractions. On a clear day, it is possible to see the entire city, the nearby Beskydy Mountains, and even neighbouring Poland.

"From the tower, there is a magnificent view of the entire Ostrava basin, framed by the impressive Beskydy Mountains in the south, the magnanimous Jeseníky Mountains to the west, and the upper-Silesian plateau to the east. The view exceeds that of Landek Hill (270m above sea level), and more comfortable than from the top of Hladnov Hill (290m above sea level) in Silesian Ostrava..." (Municipal archive - From the history the Moravian Ostrava City Hall).

The Viewing Tower has dominated the Ostrava skyline since it was built at the New City Hall (the largest in the Czech Republic) in 1930. The strict functionalist style of the tower creates, in the opinion of its designers, a noble beacon of concrete, metal and glass. The tower reaches 298.05 metres above sea level, or roughly 85.60 metres above ground level. The tower is equipped with an illuminated clock face, an elevator, and a lookout deck 72 metres above the ground.

The Ostrava City Information Centre, located directly beneath the tower, provides all sorts of information about the city, in several languages. The lookout deck is open daily.

 

THE VATHEDRAL OF THE DIVINE SAVIOUR

THE VATHEDRAL OF THE DIVINE SAVIOUR

The second largest cathedral in Moravia and Silesia (after the basilica in Velehrad) is one of the most beautiful churches in the city. The three-aisled Neo-Renaissance basilica is completed with a semicircle apse with two 67m-high towers from 1889 (according to a project by Gustav Merett). The interior is the work of Max von Ferstel.

Pope John Paul II founded the Ostrava-Opava diocese in May 1996, and in September of the same year, the basilica was upgraded to a cathedral. Since 1998, it has been equipped with a Neo-Baroque organ. It is often used as a venue for concerts, enhancing the musical experience with its acoustics and atmosphere. 

 

THE CHURCH OF ST. CATHERINE

THE CHURCH OF ST. CATHERINE

The original little wooden church was apparently built in the early 16th century. In 2002, it was completely destroyed by fire. However, a fund-raising campaign was organised immediately afterwards, and a copy was completed in 2004. The external appearance of the building is a precise replica of the original, but the interior is modern. The fire is remembered thanks to the charred beams set in the construction and the cross made up of charred beams, which stands at the church. Despite the sad fate of the original, the copy remains one of the greatest treasures of folk architecture in the Moravian-Silesian Region.