The Lower Vítkovice area is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Ostrava. This former industrial complex is a globally unique example of an industrial landmark that has been sensitively transformed into a one-of-a-kind educational, cultural and social hub. Lower Vítkovice is the first landmark on Czech territory registered in the list of European cultural heritage.
The entire process of steel production is elucidated by guides who are often former employees. They will take you through the Hlubina mine, formerly one of Ostrava’s deepest. You can also take a peek into the coking plant where coal was turned into coke and explore the bowels of the tall furnace. A skip lift that used to haul coke is today an elevator that will take you to the top.
The helical scenic platform Bolt Tower was literally laid on top the tall furnace and was christened by Usain Bolt himself. Inside, you can have a nice cup of coffee and enjoy a view of the entire city. At a height of almost 80 meters, it is the highest-placed viewing tower in the city — it is even taller than the New City Hall terrace in the center of the Moravian-Silesian metropolis.
Another unique element of Vítkovice is the large former gas tank, which turned into a special concert and exhibit hall — the Gong multifunctional auditorium.
If you went to Vítkovice and didn’t visit the Science and Technology Center, it’s like you weren’t there! Both expositions will entertain the entire family, as they are full of interactive educational attractions. A branch of the National Agricultural Museum is the newest addition to this industrial complex and now stands in one of the factory halls.
The Vítkovice steel mill was founded in 1828 by archduke Rudolph, archbishop of Olomouc. It was the most modern steel mill in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The last steelwork and mining jobs were terminated about 160 years later.