Svatopluk Čech Square and Its Surrounding Area
Svatopluk Čech Square and the streets of the Přívoz District are erected in Art Nouveau Architecture. Walking through this part of Ostrava resembles historic Vienna, and for good reason – you find yourself in the midst of a masterpiece created by Viennese architect Camillo Sitte.
In the late nineteenth century, Camillo Sitte was given the great task. He was not only asked to build a single building or street but to create the ground plan for an entire district – essentially a new city! Přivoz was once a tranquil village that served ferry merchants on the Odra River. It was not until the growth of industrial development and its addition to the Emperor Ferdinand Northern Railway route that the city of Přívoz began to emerge.
Sitte’s work is monumental. It is notable for the Church of the Immaculate Conception and the city hall, which currently houses Ostrava’s archives. Svatopluk Čech Square is located in the centre of the city and is decorated with facades that are designed in Viennese Art Nouveau. Traffic is directed from the surrounding streets toward Nádražní Třída Avenue, which became a main thoroughfare between the train station and Moravská Ostrava over a century ago. As in Vienna, small squares are sometimes located at the end of narrow streets. Moreover, an interesting feature that has survived to this day is that a small tower is positioned on every corner.
Architect Camillo Sitte’s work, however, did not end with Přívoz. You can see examples of his skill in other parts of Ostrava as well, such as in Mariánské Hory, where he designed the Church of Our Lady Queen. You can also find his designs in other large portions of the area, which are now designated as another separate district of Ostrava.