Ostrava flourished thanks to coal and iron

Ostrava flourished thanks to coal and iron

The discovery of coal in 1763 in Burňa Valley in Polish Ostrava brought Ostrava a universal recovery. Owner of the land, count František Josef Wilczek, began with regular mining in 1787.

When Olomouc Archbishop Rudolf von Habsburg founded ironworks in the village of Vítkovice in 1828, it triggered an explosive growth of the agglomeration. Connection to the Ferdinand Northern Railway in 1847 through railway stations in Svinov and Přívoz caused that in the second half of the 19th century, Ostrava became one of the most important industrial centres of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. The industrial boom also led to an influx of population. Many workers’ colonies in Polish Ostrava, Vítkovice and other municipalities were occupied mostly by immigrants. After the establishment of Czechoslovakia in 1918, Ostrava retained its important economic position thanks to steelworks and mines and slowly transformed into an administrative, social and cultural centre.