Moravian-Silesian Region

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Moravian-Silesian Region
Moravskoslezský kraj
Undermined church in Karviná
Flag of Moravian-Silesian Region.svg
Moravian-Silesian Region CoA CZ.svg
Moravskoslezsky kraj in Czech Republic.svg
Country Czech Republic
Capital Ostrava
Districts Bruntál District, Frýdek-Místek District, Karviná District, Nový Jičín District, Opava District, Ostrava-City District
  GovernorIvo Vondrák
  Total5,426.83 km2 (2,095.31 sq mi)
Highest elevation
1,491 m (4,892 ft)
 (2019-01-01 [1] )
  Density220/km2 (570/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
ISO 3166-2 CZ-MO
Licence plateT
NUTS codeCZ08
GDP per capita (PPS) (2018)€23,000
HDI (2019)0.870 [2]
very high · 6th

The Moravian-Silesian Region (Czech : Moravskoslezský kraj; Polish : Kraj morawsko-śląski; Slovak : Moravsko-sliezsky kraj; Silesian : Morawsko-ślōnski krŏj), is one of the 14 administrative regions of the Czech Republic. Before May 2001, it was called the Ostrava Region (Czech : Ostravský kraj). The region is located in the north-eastern part of its historical region of Moravia and in most of the Czech part of the historical region of Silesia. The region borders the Olomouc Region to the west and the Zlín Region to the south. It also borders two other countries – Poland (Opole and Silesian Voivodeships) to the north and Slovakia (Žilina Region) to the east.


It is a highly industrialized region, its capital Ostrava was actually called the "Steel Heart of the Republic". [3] In addition, it has several mountainous areas where the landscape is relatively preserved. Nowadays, the economy of the region benefits from its location in the Czech/Polish/Slovak borderlands.

Administrative division

The Moravian-Silesian Region is divided into 6 districts, in which are 300 municipalities (39 are towns):

Moravia-Silesia districts.png
Districts of Moravia-Silesia Region
   Nový Jičín
   Ostrava City

Traditionally, the region has been divided into six districts (Czech : okresy) which still exist as regional units, though most administration has been shifted to the municipalities with extended competence and the municipalities with commissioned local authority.

Municipalities with extended competence

Since 1 January 2003, the region has been divided into 22 municipalities with extended competence, which took over most of the administration of the former district authorities. Some of these are further divided into municipalities with commissioned local authority. They are unofficially named little districts (Czech : malé okresy). They are:

Ostrava City Hall Ostrava, Nova radnice.jpg
Ostrava City Hall


The total population of the region was 1,203,292 (men 49.1%, women 50.9%) in 2019, which makes it the third most populous region in the Czech Republic; [1] 86.9% are Czechs, 3.3% Slovaks, 3.0% Poles, 2.3% Moravians, 0.8% Silesians, 0.3% Germans, and 0.2% Romani, though this last figure might be considerably higher, as Romani often do not officially admit their ethnicity. Around 40.2% of the population is religious, mostly Roman Catholic, while 52.3% declares as atheist.

The population density is 222 inhabitants per km2, which is the second-highest in the country, after the capital Prague. Most of the population is urban, with 59% living in towns with over 20,000 inhabitants. The average age of the population in the region was 42.7 in 2019. [1]

Cities and towns

The table shows cities and towns in the region with the largest population (as of 1 January 2019): [1]

NamePopulationArea (km2) District
Flag of Ostrava.svg Ostrava 289,128214 Ostrava-City District
Flag of Havirov.svg Havířov 71,90332 Karviná District
Opava Flag.svg Opava 56,63891 Opava District
Flag of Frydek-Mistek.svg Frýdek-Místek 55,93152 Frýdek-Místek District
Karwina flag.svg Karviná 52,82457 Karviná District
Trinec vlajka.svg Třinec 35,13185 Frýdek-Místek District
Orlova vlajka.jpg Orlová 28,85225 Karviná District
Flag of Cesky Tesin.svg Český Těšín 24,43834 Karviná District
Flag of Novy Jicin.svg Nový Jičín 23,49645 Nový Jičín District
Flag of Krnov.svg Krnov 23,39744 Bruntál District
Vlajka mesta Koprivnice.svg Kopřivnice 21,94927 Nový Jičín District
Flag of Bohumin.svg Bohumín 20,69031 Karviná District
Flag of Bruntal.svg Bruntál 16,40829 Bruntál District
Hlucin flag.jpg Hlučín 13,95321 Opava District
Flag of Frenstat pod Radhostem CZ.svg Frenštát pod Radhoštěm 10,82011 Nový Jičín District
Studenky CZ flag.gif Studénka 9,47730 Nový Jičín District


The Gross domestic product (GDP) of the region was 19.6 billion € in 2018, accounting for 9.5% of Czech economic output. GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power was 23,000 € or 76% of the EU27 average in the same year. The GDP per employee was 74% of the EU average. [4]


The geography of the region varies considerably, comprising many land forms from lowlands to high mountains whose summits lie above the tree line.

In the west lie the Hrubý Jeseník mountains, with the highest mountain of the region (and all Moravia), Praděd, rising 1,491 metres (4,892 ft). The mountains are heavily forested, with many spectacular places and famous spas such as Karlova Studánka and Jeseník, so are very popular with tourists. Also, several ski resorts are there, including Červenohorské Sedlo and Ovčárna, with long-lasting snow cover. The Hrubý Jeseník mountains slowly merge into the rolling hills of the Nízký Jeseníks and Oderské Vrchy, rising to 800 m at Slunečná and 680 m at Fidlův Kopec, respectively.

To the east, the landscape gradually descends into the Moravian Gate (Moravská brána) valley with the Bečva and Odra Rivers. The former flows to the south-west, the latter to the north-east, where the terrain spreads into the flat Ostrava and Opava basins (Ostravská a Opavská pánev), where most of the population lives. The region's heavy industry, which has been in decline for the last decade, is located there, too, benefiting from huge deposits of hard coal. The confluence of the Odra and Olše is the lowest point of the region, at 195 m.

To the south-east, towards the Slovakian border, the landscape sharply rises into the Moravian-Silesian Beskids (Czech : Moravskoskoslezské Beskydy) (often referred to just as Beskydy), with its highest mountain Lysá Hora at 1,323 m (4,341 ft), which is the place with the highest annual rainfall in the Czech Republic, 1,500 mm (100 in) a year. The mountains are heavily forested and serve as a holiday resort for the industrial north.

Nature conservation

Three large landscape protected areas (Chráněné krajinné oblasti, CHKO) and a number of smaller nature reserves are in the region. The countryside is mostly man-made, but five natural parks (Přírodní parky) with preserved natural scenery exist.

The CHKO Jeseníky (with an area of 745 km2 or 288 sq mi) lies in the mountain range of the same name in the north east of the region. The terrain is very diverse, with steep slopes and deep valleys. About 80%t of the area is forested, mostly by secondary plantations of Norway spruce, which were seriously damaged by industrial emissions. Due to local weather conditions, the tree line in the area descends to 1,200–1,300 m (3,900–4,300 ft). Alpine meadows can be found in particularly low elevations in the Jeseník mountains. Also, a few peat moors are found there, which are otherwise nonexistent in Moravia.

The CHKO Poodří (81.5 km2 or 31.5 sq mi) lies in the Moravian Gate, in close proximity to the region's capital Ostrava, on the banks of the meandering Odra. It is an area of floodplain forests (one of the last preserved in Central Europe), flooded meadows, and many shallow ponds, on which water birds thrive.

The CHKO Beskydy (1,160 km2 or 450 sq mi) is the largest Czech CHKO. It lies in the south-east of the region, along the Slovakian boundary. In the north, the mountains rise steeply from the Ostrava basin, to the south their elevation and severity decreases. Most of the area is forested, mainly by Norway spruce plantations, which are not indigenous to the area. Many of these were severely damaged by emissions from the Ostrava industrial region. There are, however, also a lot of either newly planted or preserved forests of European beech, which in the past covered most of the mountains. The CHKO is typical by its mosaic of forests and highland meadows and pastures with hamlets scattered throughout all the mountains. In recent years bear and wolf sighting have become more frequent.

Altogether, 125 small, protected nature areas cover an area of 52 km2 or 20 sq mi. The most notable of them is the lime Šipka Cave (Jeskyně Šipka) near Štramberk, where remnants of a Neanderthal man were discovered in the late 19th century.

Places of interest

Stramberk Stramberk.jpg

There are three towns with protected historical centers. Příbor, the birthplace of Sigmund Freud, was an important center of education for northern Moravia from the 17th century to the first half of the 20th. Nový Jičín, founded under the castle of Starý Jičín, has a well-preserved central square dating back to the 14th century, with the Žerotínský château nearby. Štramberk is a unique small town nestled in a valley between lime hills, with many timber houses and the Trúba Spire rising on a hill above the town.

Many castles and châteaus are in the region, the most famous being Hradec nad Moravicí, Raduň, Kravaře, and Fulnek. Hukvaldy, in a village of the same name under the Moravian-Silesian Beskids, is one of the region's many castle ruins, known for a musical festival dedicated to the composer Leoš Janáček, who was born there. Another well-known castle ruin is Sovinec under the Hrubý Jeseníks.

Due to the importance of industry in the region, many museums display products of local technical development. The Automobile Museum in Kopřivnice exhibits the history of the Tatra cars, The Train Carriage Museum is in Studénka, and the Mining Museum and the former Michal Mine (Důl Michal) are in Ostrava.


Until 2000, the current region did not exist as such, but was organized as part of a larger administrative unit called the North Moravian Region (Severomoravský kraj). Six of its districts (okresy), Bruntál, Frýdek-Místek, Karviná, Nový Jičín, Opava, and Ostrava, were in 2000 put into the newly established Moravian-Silesian Region. The old North Moravian Region still exists and jurisdiction of some administrative bodies is defined by its borders.

See also

Related Research Articles

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Moravia Historical region in the Czech Republic

Moravia is a historical region in the east of the Czech Republic and one of three historical Czech lands, with Bohemia and Czech Silesia.

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Zlín Region Region of the Czech Republic

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This article deals with historic administrative divisions of Czechoslovakia up to 1992, when the country was split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia and the divisions were changed.

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Košice Region Region of Slovakia

The Košice Region is one of the eight Slovak administrative regions. The region was first established in 1923 and its present borders were established in 1996. It consists of 11 districts (okresy) and 440 municipalities, 17 of which have a town status. About one third of the region's population lives in the agglomeration of Košice, which is its main economic and cultural centre.

Nový Jičín Town in Moravian-Silesian, Czech Republic

Nový Jičín is a town in the Moravian-Silesian Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 23,000 inhabitants. The town is situated on the spurs of the Carpathian Mountains about 30 km (19 mi) from Ostrava. The historic centre of Nový Jičín is well preserved and historically significant and is protected by law as urban monument reservation.

Frýdlant nad Ostravicí Town in Moravian-Silesian, Czech Republic

Frýdlant nad Ostravicí is a town in the Moravian-Silesian Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 10,000 inhabitants. It lies on the Ostravice River at the foot of Lysá hora, the highest mountain of the Moravian-Silesian Beskids. In the past it was an important ironworks center. Today it is mainly a holiday resort.

Štramberk Town in Moravian-Silesian, Czech Republic

Štramberk is a town in the Nový Jičín District in the Moravian-Silesian Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 3,500 inhabitants. The historic centre of Štramberk is well preserved and historically significant and is protected by law as Urban monument reservation.

Fulnek Town in Moravian-Silesian, Czech Republic

Fulnek is a town in the Nový Jičín District in the Moravian-Silesian Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 5,600 inhabitants. It lies 29 km south from Opava and 40 km west from Ostrava.

Moravian-Silesian Beskids Mountain range in the Czech Republic and Slovakia

The Moravian–Silesian Beskids is a mountain range in the Czech Republic with a small part reaching to Slovakia. It lies on the historical division between Moravia and Silesia, hence the name. It is part of the Western Beskids, which is in turn part of the Outer Western Carpathians.

Smrk (Moravian-Silesian Beskids)

Smrk is a massif and a mountain in the Moravian-Silesian Beskids range in the Czech Republic. With a height of 1,276 m (4,186 ft) it is the second highest summit of the range after Lysá hora. Its Northern slope steeply rises from the surrounding lowlands and is separated from the rest of the mountains by the deep Ostravice River and Čeladenka river valleys; in the South it merges in the lower Zadní hory area.

Beskydy Protected Landscape Area

Beskydy Protected Landscape Area (PLA) is the largest PLA in the Czech Republic. The area is 1,160 km2 (448 sq mi). It lies in the south-eastern part of the Moravian Silesian and eastern part of Zlín regions, on the border with Slovakia. All its area belongs to the Outer Western Carpathians and comprises most of the Moravian-Silesian Beskids Range, a large part of the Vsetínské vrchy Range, and the Moravian part of the Javorníky Range. In Slovakia, Kysuce Protected Landscape Area borders the area.

Jeseník District District in Olomouc, Czech Republic

Jeseník District is a district (okres) in the Olomouc Region of the Czech Republic. Its seat is the town of Jeseník. With approximately 38,000 inhabitants it is the least populated district of the Czech Republic.

Veřovice Municipality in Moravian-Silesian, Czech Republic

Veřovice is a municipality and village in the Nový Jičín District in the Moravian-Silesian Region of the Czech Republic. It has around 2,000 inhabitants. The municipilatiy is situated in south-eastern part of Moravian-Silesian Region as it lies on the border of Moravia-Silesion Region and Zlin Region. The first written mention of Veřovice is from 1411, however the municipality probably existed before 1293. The cadastral territory of Veřovice counts around 16,6 square kilometers. Veřovice are managed by voted mayor and the municipality council which is compound of 13 councillors including the mayor for the 5-year period.


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Population of municipalities of the Czech republic". Czech Statistical Office. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  2. "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  3. "Ostrava – Steel heart of Czechoslovakia". Radio Praha. 17 July 2000. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  4. "Regional GDP per capita ranged from 30% to 263% of the EU average in 2018". Eurostat.

Coordinates: 49°46′48″N18°1′48″E / 49.78000°N 18.03000°E / 49.78000; 18.03000