Hey everybody. Back for another installment from Ostrava in Czech Republic (Czechia). To see my last video from this little known city, click here.
This time, a tour was set up to visit the towns just outside Ostrava. The catch is, one of these towns no longer exists, and the other one has very little of it left. They call these ghost towns.
The reason that they have been reduced to nearly nothing is that the coal mining going on around the area caused the land under the towns to sink over time and created a very unstable environment. The town of Karvina lowered over 30 meters over the course of time which made it unlivable because the buildings were no longer structurally sound. There is still 1 piece of evidence of what this town went through. A leaning church. All the buildings of Karvina were demolished except for this one which still stands. Because of the remodels it has gone through, it is safe to enter the church and see stand inside the leaning building to see the slanted walls. It made me a little dizzy being in there because it just felt off. The floor was level but the walls weren't. It felt weird.
It looks like the floor is slanted, but it's the walls
The coolest part of this church is the bell tower which we got to go up in. Even further up we could go up into the steeple. I was stopped from going further because of all the bats flying around. Cool! Bats in the belfry. How poetic. But I didn't want to disturb them more than I already had.
Adventures in the belfry
The next part of the tour took us to a public golf course nearby. The land it is on filled up with water after it sank from the mining. But they wanted to restructure the land and build something useful out of it so they drained the swamp and built the golf course.
Another example of restructuring what was literally a wasteland is the children's fun park they took us to. It's dinosaur-themed. The land it was on was filled with toxic waste from the mining operations, but they cleaned it up and built the park. It took them 10 years to make it safe for people to use the land, but they got it done.
Took 10 years to make this land safe for the public
The town of Orlova was our last stop. This is also practically a ghost town. It was a town of 20,000 people, but now it has only 800. It also became unsafe to live there because of the sunken land. Only a part of the town square and the church are pretty much all that's left of the original town. Most of the rest of the buildings are long gone.
Pretty much all that's left of Orlova
I've never really done a tour like this where their main focus is to show us how they are restructuring a land that was once devastated by the very thing that built the economy and gave jobs to the people living there. The irony is strong. All mining will soon cease in this region so they have made big strides to rebuild and rebrand themselves.
Have you ever done a tour like this?