For a long time, Ostrava was considered to be only an industrial centre, it was called the Black Ostrava. But recently Ostrava has done an amazing thing - it has turned its weakness into a strength - it turned the old industrial and mining centres into museums and cultural places. For example, one of the biggest festivals in the Czech Republic, Colours of Ostrava, takes place in a former stell works and coal mine, with one of the stages in a gas tank.
These days, Ostrava is really a more cultural than an industrial place, having worldwide artists performing here, such as Iggy Pop, Alanis Morissette, Cranberries or Nick Cave. Ostrava offers a variety of cultural and social activities. The local theatre is one of the best scenes in the country, The Gallery of Fine Arts and The Gallery of Plato are respected institutions with a refined design, exhibitions and music clubs hosting both known and budding musicians and bands of different genres. Adding a number of festivals, prestigious sporting events and tourist attractions, it is clear that there is no boredom in Ostrava. Not even mentioning the famous Stodolní Street - the Street That Never Sleeps - with its 70 clubs, pubs and bars in it.
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Ostrava is also an important economic centre. During the last ten years, there have been discovered a lot of new jobs in non-traditional sectors, which are for example the automotive industry, IT or outsourcing services.
The city lies in the valley between The Beskydy Mountains and The Jeseníky Mountains, known as The Moravian Gate. A significant part of its territory is covered with forests, parks and other green. There are over one hundred and thirty important landscape elements, three nature reserves and four natural monuments. Among them, there are two parts of The Protected Landscape Area Poodří located directly in the territory of the city-The Polanecký Forest and The Polanecká Meadow. Very attractive are also Rezavka and Turkov with many floodplain forests, surrounded by The Štěpán’s pond or national natural monument of Landek, with outcroppings of coal seams on the surface. A unique feature is forested heap Ema at an altitude of 315 m above sea level. Approximately 150 years old dump inside is still burning, the temperature deep inside reaches up to 1 500 °C.