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(ô`strävä), formerly

Moravská Ostrava

(mô`räfskä), Ger. Mährisch Ostrau, city (1991 pop. 327,371), NE Czech Republic, in Moravia, near the junction of the Oder and Ostravice rivers. It is the heart of the Ostrava-Karviná industrial and mining region, the most heavily industrialized area of the Czech Republic. Coal, important to the city for some 200 years and the reason it was nicknamed "black Ostrava," is no longer mined; the city's major industries now include metallurgy, engineering, and information technology. One of the Czech Republic's largest cities, Ostrava is a regional administrative center, a road and rail hub, and the site of several hydroelectric stations.

Ostrava was well known as a small town in the Middle Ages and later became important because of its strategic location guarding the Moravian Gate, the entrance to the Moravian lowlands. The city's industrial prominence dates from the late 19th cent., after the opening of its first coal mine and the coming of the railroad. The modern city was created in 1924 by the merger of seven towns. German forces occupied Ostrava from 1939 to 1945. The city is a cultural and educational center, noted especially for its technical university and mining museum. The St. Wenceslas church (14th cent.) is Ostrava's oldest building; the Cathedral of the Divine Savior was completed in 1889.

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Moravská Ostrava), a city in Czechoslovakia, in the Czech Socialist Republic, situated on the Oder (Odra) River at its confluence with the Ostravice and Opava rivers. It is the capital of the North Moravian region. Population, 278,700 (1970).

Ostrava is a major transportation junction. It is the center of an important coal and metallurgy region that developed because of its proximity to the Ostrava-Karviná Coalfield. The K. Gottwald Vítkovice Metallurgical Combine and the new Kunčice Metallurgical Combine are located in Ostrava and the immediate vicinity. The city’s main industries include the coal, chemical, and coke and coke-oven industries, as well as heavy machine building. Ostrava has a specialized machine-building school and a college of mining and metallurgy.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


an industrial city in the E Czech Republic, on the River Oder: the chief coal-mining area in the Czech Republic, in Upper Silesia. Pop.: 316 000 (2005 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005