Regional capital: Ostrava
A region of contrasting landscapes and great ethnic diversity, Moravia-Silesia has successfully emerged from the turbulent economic changes of the recent years. Today it is fittingly described as a region of contrasts and opportunities. Moravia-Silesia has six distinct tourist areas: the Jeseniky and Besydy mountain ranges, the Opavske Slezsko (Opavian Silesia) area around the town of Opava, the Ostrava-Karvina area, the Tesinske Slezsko (Tesin Silesia) area around Tesin, and the Poodri area in the Oder (Odra) River valley. The regional capital Ostrava (www.ostrava.cz) with a population of approximately 311.000 is the Czech Republic’s third largest town. After 1989 Ostrava went through a radical transformation that has no paralell in the country. Today’s Ostrava is a cosmopolitian town of business and commerce with vibrant cultural and social life. It annually hosts major events such as the Janacek May international music festival (www.janackuvmaj.cz), Colours of Ostrava ethnic music festival (www.colours.cz), and the Ostrava Golden Spike (Zlata tretra) athletics event. Ostrava’s Stodolni street “that never sleeps” is famous across the region and beyond (www.stodolni.cz). The region’s highly interesting historical heritage ranges from castles, chateaux and vernacular architecture to urban and industrial sites. The best known castles and chateaux are Hradec nad Moravici, the romantic Radun, Empire-style Frystat in Karvina and the Baroque Kunin. The Hukvaldy Castle ruins imposing Sovinec Castle are also worth a visit. Spa centres have grown since the 19th century around the region’s numerous mineral springs. Darkov (www.darkov.cz) and Klimkovice (www.sanatoria-klimkovice.cz) offer a wide range of spa treatment and wellness programmers. Other popular destinations are Beskydy (www.beskydy-info.cz) and Jeseniky (www.jeseniky.net) mountain ranges. Praded, Moravia’s highest peak (1.491 m above sea level) is located in the Jeseniky mountains.
An urban heritage reservation since 1969, the picturesque Stramberk is a unique grouping of timber and masonry houses on a dramatic slope below the ruins of Stramberk Castle. The castle’s “Truba” tower is the area’s main landmark.
The grand Frystat Chateau in Karvina has no parallel in the region. The Empire-style chateau was transformed from a Renaissance castle. Visitors can admire valuable furniture from aristocratic home and parts of the original collections of 16th to 20th century art.
Hukvaldy Castle ruins
One of the largest ruined castles in Central Europe, third largest in the Czech Republic. Founded in the 13th century by the German Counts of Huckeswagen. The village if Hukvaldy is closely associated with the life and work of the composer Leos Janacek. The local game preserve with fallow deer and mouflon.