In recent years, Ostrava's greatest attraction for tourists has become the Dolní Vítkovice district. The former industrial complex is a unique example of how industrial monuments have been carefully transformed into community and cultural centres. Dolní Vítkovice is the first monument in the Czech Republic that has joined the European cultural heritage list.
Visitors can learn about the iron production process from start to finish. They can tour the former Důl Hlubina mine, which was one of the deepest in Ostrava. The coking plant is located nearby the mining operations. Here coal was transformed into the coke needed for blasting furnaces. The tour continues with a visit to the smelter, where the iron was melted. Everything has been perfectly preserved and tour guides are present to explain how the entire operation worked. One of the tour’s unique features is the visit to the colossal gas storage reservoir, which, in recent years, has become home to the Gong Concert Hall
A new café has also been opened that gives a view of the entire city. It stands almost eighty metres above ground and has become the tallest lookout point in the city. In fact, it is taller than the lookout
at the New City Hall
in the heart of the Moravian-Silesian metropolis.
The complex has become a centre for cultural and social life. One of the most celebrated events is the Colours of Ostrava Music Festival, which hosts tens of thousands of guests. Dolní oblast Vítkovice is also home to the Malý a velký svět techniky science and technology centre, full of interactive educational attractions.
The Vítkovice ironworks were founded in Vítkovice in 1828 by the archbishop of Olomouc, Archbishop Rudolf, as the most modern smelting plant in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. All of its ironworks and mining operations ended approximately 160 years later.
Visitors of Ostrava that are interested in the industrial history of this steel city can continue to Landek Park, home to a mining museum, or to the former Důl Michal mine.