Opava (Czech pronunciation: [ˈopava] (About this soundlisten); German: Troppau, Lower Silesian: Tropp, Polish: Opawa, Latin: Oppavia, Silesian: Ôpawa) is a city in the Moravian-Silesian Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 56,000 inhabitants. It lies on the river Opava, located to the north-west of Ostrava. Opava is one of the historical centres of Silesia. It was a historical capital of Czech Silesia.

Opava
Horní Square with the city hall
Horní Square with the city hall
Flag of Opava
Coat of arms of Opava
Opava is located in Czech Republic
Opava
Opava
Location in the Czech Republic
Coordinates: 49°56′17″N 17°54′16″E / 49.93806°N 17.90444°E / 49.93806; 17.90444Coordinates: 49°56′17″N 17°54′16″E / 49.93806°N 17.90444°E / 49.93806; 17.90444
Country Czech Republic
RegionMoravian-Silesian
DistrictOpava
First mentioned1195
Area
 • Total90.57 km2 (34.97 sq mi)
Elevation
257 m (843 ft)
Population
 (2021-01-01)[1]
 • Total55,996
 • Density620/km2 (1,600/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
746 01
Websitewww.opava-city.cz

Administrative divisionEdit

 
Boroughs of Opava (shown in color) and cadastral areas

Opava is made up of eight self-governing boroughs in the suburbs, and of central part which is administered directly. The city is further divided into 14 administrative parts (in brackets):

  • Opava (Město, Předměstí (bigger part), Kateřinky, Kylešovice and Jaktař (bigger part))
  • Komárov
  • Malé Hoštice
  • Milostovice
  • Podvihov (Komárovské Chaloupky and Podvihov)
  • Suché Lazce
  • Vávrovice (Vávrovice, Předměstí (smaller part) and Jaktař (smaller part))
  • Vlaštovičky
  • Zlatníky

GeographyEdit

Opava is located on the Opava Hilly Land (Czech: Opavská pahorkatina; a part of the Silesian Lowlands) on the Opava River (left tributary of the Oder River) and Moravice River (right tributary of the Opava River).

HistoryEdit

 
Opava in 1900

Opava was first documented in 1195. The first mention of Magdeburg city rights came from 1224. It was capital of the Silesian, Bohemian and finally Austrian Duchy of Opava.

In 1614 Karl I of Liechtenstein became Duke of Opava. After the majority of Silesia was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia during the War of the Austrian Succession after 1740, the remaining Silesian territory still under the control of the Habsburg Monarchy became known as Austrian Silesia, with its capital in Troppau (1742–1918). The Congress of Troppau took place there in the period 27 October – 17 December 1820.[2]

According to the Austrian census of 1910, the town had 30,762 inhabitants, 29,587 of whom had permanent residence there. The census asked people for their native language, which showed that 27,240 (92%) were German-speaking, 2,039 (6.9%) were Czech-speaking and 274 (0.9%) were Polish-speaking. Jews were not allowed to declare Yiddish, and most of them thus declared German as their native language. The main religious group was Roman Catholics with 28,379 (92.2%), followed by Protestants with 1,155 (3.7%) and Jews with 1,112 (3.6%).[3]

After the defeat of Austria-Hungary in World War I, Troppau became part of Czechoslovakia in 1919 as Opava.

From 1938–45 Opava was part of Nazi Germany according to the Munich agreement. Already a day before Germany's annexation of the Sudetenland in 1938, the town seceded from its okres and became its own Stadtkreis. After the end of World War II, the entire German population of Opava was forcibly expelled in 1945–46 under terms included in the Beneš decrees; the city was resettled with Czechs. Many of the expelled population settled in Bamberg, Germany.

While the Duchy of Opava has ceased to exist, the title of Duke of Troppau continues, with Hans-Adam II, Prince of Liechtenstein being the current incumbent.

DemographyEdit

Historical population
YearPop.±%
186927,011—    
188032,105+18.9%
189035,698+11.2%
190042,043+17.8%
191047,361+12.6%
YearPop.±%
192149,366+4.2%
193054,263+9.9%
195040,663−25.1%
196148,091+18.3%
197053,269+10.8%
YearPop.±%
198058,778+10.3%
199162,815+6.9%
200161,382−2.3%
201158,351−4.9%
202155,996−4.0%
Source: Historical lexicon of municipalities of the Czech Republic[4]

Economy and cultureEdit

Nowadays Opava is an important business and cultural centre of Opavian Silesia.[5] It is the location of several economic and cultural institutions serving the entire region, including the Silesian Museum which is the oldest museum in the Czech Republic,[6] and the Silesian Institute of the Academy of Science. Opava is home to the only public university in the country not situated in a regional capital, the Silesian University (Opava). The city is part of a congested industrial area along with Ostrava and produces mining equipment. Opava also awards its own Cultural Prize.

The Silesian Theatre in Opava was founded in 1805. Plays were performed in German until the end of the World War II.

SightsEdit

The white tower, today known as Hláska, adorns the Neo-Renaissance Opava City Hall on Horní Square.[7]

SportEdit

The city's football club SFC Opava currently plays in the Czech National Football League, the second tier of the Czech football league system.

Notable peopleEdit

Twin towns – sister citiesEdit

Opava is twinned with:[8]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Population of Municipalities – 1 January 2021". Czech Statistical Office. 2021-04-30.
  2. ^ Chronologie des civilisations, Jean Delorme, Presses universitaires de France, 1956
  3. ^ Ludwig Patryn (ed): Die Ergebnisse der Volkszählung vom 31. Dezember 1910 in Schlesien, Troppau 1912.
  4. ^ "Historický lexikon obcí České republiky 1869–2011 – Okres Opava" (in Czech). Czech Statistical Office. 2015-12-21. pp. 7–8.
  5. ^ Opavian Silesia
  6. ^ About Silesian Land's Museum (in czech) – "Slezské zemské muzeum je nejstarší muzeum v České republice. Bylo založeno v Opavě 1. května 1814." → "Silesian Land's Museum is the oldest museum in the Czech Republic. It was founded in Opava 1 May 1814."
  7. ^ http://www.czechtourism.com/t/opava/
  8. ^ "Partnerská a spolupracující města" (in Czech). Statutární město Opava. Retrieved 2020-06-11.

External linksEdit