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Why you will fall in love with Ostrava , in the Czech Republic

by Carine Lion 18 January 2019 in Destination 0 Comments 354 Views

Beyond Prague, the Czech Republic offers mountains and valleys with breathtaking views, fairytale castles, romantic spa towns, vineyards, breweries, food traditions and wellworth industrial places.

In particular, Ostrava, the "black city" , is a great city to visit on your way to Krakow from Prague. This city can indeed pride itself on offering its visitors its remarkably staged industrial heritage. It isn’t a luxury destination but you can find some very good places to eat and stay or experience a great beer bath. More photos and details in my luxury guide to Ostrava.

Honestly, though I've always seen ironworks like piles of rusty metal sheets and didn’t fall in love with Ostrava at first sight, the capital of Moravia-Silesia hit my heart. And you should be careful it hits yours too. Here is why.

First, the inhabitants of Ostrava, are known to be distinctive , straightforward, honest and direct. But be sure behind their mask, they can surprise you with their kindness and helpfulness. More, you can feel the city is gradually recovering from its wounds, its population too, and this is touching.

Second, Ostrava is surrounded by greenery. When you're in the centre, just climb up the tower of the new City Hall and you will realize this immediately. Located in the eastern part of the Czech Republic, a short distance from the Polish and Slovak borders, the city is surrounded by the Beskidy Mountains, famous for their endless forests and meadows, spectacular views, wooden churches and folk traditions.

Third, the The Michal mine, which was operating from 1850 and closed its doors in June 1994, is well worth a visit. Since 1994, time there seems to stand still. Follow the miners' path and enter a large room where they used to change clothes. Huge chains are hanging from the ceiling, work clothes and helmets hanging from their stitches. At this moment, you could feel like you’re living an episode of Harry Potter, surrounded by dementors. It's terribly impressive.

Finally, Vitkovice. Today, the site of about 150 hectares is taken up in a huge rehabilitation project, on the initiative of Dov association; it aims to create a social, cultural and educational center for the population of Ostrava and visitors from all over the world. Among the remarkable buildings already rehabilitated, the Gong and the Bolt Tower are for me of major interest and a total success.

To close your visit of the city - 2 days to gras the essentiels -, don't miss to have a coffee at the Bolt Café, named after the famous Jamaican athlete christened the tower in 2015.

The discovery of Ostrava fits particularly well from Prague or Krakow. Count a minimum of two days to grasp the essentials.