A former industrial centre with a reputation of being a neglected and polluted region. Today it is a very pleasant part of the country that has been connected tastefully with its mining past. It is also the shopping and cultural centre of northern Moravia, and, at the same time, it is an ideal location for business travel activities. With the region’s capital of Ostrava at the forefront, the area offers visitors not only a glimpse into the lives of local miners during the past few centuries, but also a unique nook of countryside, as well as the most famous bar strip in the Czech Republic – Stodolní in Ostrava.
Ostravsko acquired its industrial character when substantial deposits of coal were discovered in the region and coal mining began in the mid 18th century. The last cart of coal was hauled off in 1994, but reminders of the region’s mining past are still present – they live in the form of, for instance, numerous technical monuments.
Despite all the decades during which Ostravsko was primarily an industrial centre, it is also possible to come across some very beautiful countryside in this region. Most of the credit for this goes to the shoulders of the Odra River, places where storks nest and unique flora grows.
However, visitors will find the best that the region has to offer in Ostrava, the Czech Republic’s third largest city. In addition to technical and Secessionist monuments, it abounds with other attractions: important cultural events and music festivals take place here, and Stodolní Street is renowned in the nation’s club scene. Additionally, Ostrava is also a great place for sports, boasts a zoo and its unique World of Miniatures, and is home to some high-quality conference and exhibition facilities, making Ostrava an ideal location for business travel activities.
Ostravsko does not offer as many opportunities for hiking as, say, Beskydy or Jeseníky. Nevertheless, with a good map it is possible to take a nice trip along the meandering Odra River, or visit one or more of the numerous ponds situated throughout the expansive environs of Ostrava.
Ostravsko is an ideal region for less capable cyclists, or families with children. The bike paths in this region run over rather easy terrain without any considerable inclines. One of the trails takes cyclists to the outdoor mining museum in Landek. It is also possible to ride from Ostrava-Zábřehu to Poodří.
Hiking in recultivated territories, technical monuments
Ostravska’s mining past is the curse of this otherwise very attractive region. However, intense work is being done to restore the countryside damaged by mining activities; the project is costing millions of crowns. Thanks to this, in Ostrava there are presently 30 square metres of green space per resident. Furthermore, many former mined areas and heaps are now tourist attractions, just like technical monuments – reminders of a time when heavy machinery resounded beneath the region’s surface.
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