I study here and may be I will live here in the future. Even if Ostrava hasn’t got many historical monuments is worth seeing. It is a city with many characteristic interesting features. Ostrava is the metropolis of the North Moravia region. With its population of almost 350 000 inhabitants it is the 3rd largest city in the Czech Republic. Still it is the important industrial centre of the country. It lies on the confluence of two rivers – Odra & Ostravice.
Some facts from the history: In 1267, Bruno – Bishop of Olomouc founded here a fortified town which has to protect the entry to Moravia in the north.
The town began to grow rapidly after 1763 when large deposits of coal were discovered in the Slezká Ostrava valley of Burňa, This Rich black coal basin became a basis of a quick development of the mining, metallurgical and chemical industries (the Vítkovice Ironwork was founded as early as in 1828) and so Ostrava has gradually become the chief centre of heavy industry supplying the country with coal, coke, rolled stock, steel or chemical products.
After 1945 New Metallurgical Works was built in Ostrava-Kunčice. This quick development of industry brought many opportunities of interesting, important and difficult jobs but at the same time it brought a lot of troubles – especially great ecological problems which to be solved very soon. Many factories and industrial sites are often not far from the middle of the residential areas making them dirty and noisy.
That’s why old houses are being gradually pulled down and new ones are built. Old-fashioned industrial plants are re-sited as an attempt to improve the environment, to decrease air-pollution and to enlarge green areas in the city centre.
The quick development of Ostrava needed a lot of workers (especially at the 60th and 70th) and so not many years ago the number of inhabitants steadily increased and required an extensive housing construction. New large housing estates have been built at Poruba, Zábřeh, Výškovice, Hrabůvka a Dubina – with a lot of blocs of flats, schools and shops.
But a great disadvantage of these housing estates is a small number of playgrounds.
Ostrava is not only an industrial centre but there is also a rich cultural life. Many theatregoers often visit National Moravia-Silesian Theatre, Jiří Myron Theatre, Petr Bezruč Theatre, Komorní scéna Aréna and The Puppet Theatre. The concertgoers regularly visit concert given by philharmonic orchestra or several other musical bodies. Young people like visiting Stodolní Street. There are nearly 50 clubs and pubs with many kinds of music.
The visitors of Ostrava can admire the modern Palace of Culture and Sport in Vítkovice, where interesting cultural or sport events are often on the programme. (In 2004 will be held here Ice world cup). Many lovers of painting and reading can spend their free time in picture galleries, libraries or swimming pools- 50 metres – swimming pool Aquacente and the biggest swimming pool in our republic with water toboggan – both in Poruba. Little children together with their parents often visit a large Zoological Garden. Cinemas Luna, Cinestar (8 saals with Dolby Digital Sound) or Art show interesting films but many people have videos or DVD players at home and don’t go to cinemas.
In Ostrava are a lot of secondary schools and two Colleges – Ostrava University and Technical University. The Academy of Music can be mentioned too.
As every large city Ostrava has several big department stores, supermarkets, hotels, hospitals. Visitors can admire the New Council House with its 85 metres high tower.
Ostrava lies in lovely surroundings – both Beskydy Mountains with Lysá hora and the Jeseníky Mountains with Praděd are easily accessible.