Socialist Realism in Poruba

When American and French filmmakers were filming scenes for the movie Babylon A. D. that were supposed to take place in a Russian metropolis, the crew and Hollywood actors came to Ostrava.

The city district Poruba is built in the ostentatious style of the fifties and is reminiscent of the boulevards and residential houses of Moscow. With minor adjustments, they can be easily used as a backdrop for a film set in Russia. If you would like to learn about the architectural style called sorela (socialist realism), Poruba is the place to go.

The streets in Poruba are wide and the courtyard entrances create tall, slender arches. Some buildings are not unlike ancient cathedrals, including their ornamented columns. The facades of these apartment buildings seem like an exhibition of lives during the time of socialist construction. On the facades, you can see children chasing butterflies, a girl with a pram, and a boy on a scooter… Since it is so unusual to find such a comprehensive collection of the architecture from the 1950s, this city district has been declared conservation zone. You can see similar architecture nearby in Havířov, which emerged at around the same time as Poruba.

Although Poruba’s roots date back to as early as the thirteenth century, its boom did not begin until after the Second World War. Here, the new Ostrava emerged, the city of the future. The location was chosen primarily because Poruba did not construct maze of mines or smelting plants, ironworks, or chemical plants, which were also expanding rapidly at the time.

In the summer, both locals and visitors of this Ostrava district appreciate the largest natural swimming area in the Czech Republic (as well as Central Europe). In the winter months, visitors can enjoy the ski resort at Skalka. People are free to visit the church and chateau, which currently serves as a restaurant. The natural surroundings around Poruba are perfect for cyclotourism. In the winter cross-country skiers can enjoy the landscape as well. The Klimkovice spas are also just a short distance away, with their unique salt water.


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Socialist Realism in Poruba