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Where the coalminers used to change in to their uniforms.

Where the Ostrava coalminers used to change in to their uniforms.

Instead of just leaving it to rot and rust, Ostrava has brought new life to former coal mines and ironworks.

Ostrava used to be all about Coal and iron. Bridges like Golden Gate and Sydney Harbour bridge had a lot of iron from the area delivered when they were build for instance. But back in the early 1990’s the industries started to crumble. A combination of less demand for coal and bad working conditions for the miners, leading to early deaths, meant that most of the old industries were shut down.

Touring the Vitkovice ironworks.

Touring the Vitkovice ironworks.

But just because mining is becoming something of the past in Ostrava, does not mean that it’s being forgotten.

There is actually a modern conference center inside this place.

There is actually a modern conference center inside this place.

Ostrava has a nice old city center. But what takes it apart from most other cities in the Czech Republic is how they have brought some of the old industrial areas back to life.

Ostrava city center.

Ostrava city center.

The Vítkovice ironworks in particular is really cool. What used to be one of the largest ironworks in the world, has now become a conference center. A venue of one of the biggest music festivals of the Czech Republic. And the highest tower has been turned in to a sky bar, with fantastic views over Ostrava.

The Bolt Tower, with the sky bar on top.

The Bolt Tower, with the sky bar on top.

Landek Park is also very interesting. This is a part of the city that used to have a coalmine. And it’s possible to take a tour down the former coalmine these days. Gives you a good idea of how bad the working conditions are in coal mines. Not a job that you want to do, if you want to grow old.

Me inside one of the former coalmines.

Me inside one of the former coalmines.

Ostrava is a beer city.

Excellent beer at the Hoppy Dog.

Excellent beer at the Hoppy Dog.

Hobit Tolkiens pub in Ostrava.

Hobit Tolkiens pub in Ostrava.

One old industry that is still thriving is the beer industry. The number of breweries is actually growing rapidly these days in the Ostrava region. Small micro breweries in particular are popping up all over the city. Stodolni street is the street where the locals party at night. But do not forget other parts of the city when it comes to beer. Bars like Hoppy Dog and Hobit Tolkiens Pub were some of the best places I went for beer in Ostrava. These two places are located near the main square. And they are highly recommended if you are a beer lover.

So if you are in to industrial charm and high quality beer, then do not hesitate to visit Ostrava.

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