Lower Vitkovice, Ostrava, Czech Republic


A city built on the principle of connecting nationalities and cultures, a Central European “Klondike,” Ostrava drew thousands of workers from Eastern and Southern Europe during the 19th-century coal rush. Now a modern metropolis, Ostrava, respects its past and uses it to shape a meaningful present.

Ostrava has three large universities and a series of well-renowned cultural institutions – four major theatre scenes, regional headquarters of the Czech National Broadcasting Company, Czech philharmonic – and many more.

Traditional architecture meets modern designs through the buildings of Camillo Sitte, Erich Mendelsohn, and the Slapeta brothers.

Forum Meltingpot will take place in the historical post-industrial area of Ostrava, Lower Vitkovice. Once called the Iron Heart of Europe, Ostrava offers an excellent setting for the forum. Over the past century, Ostrava underwent a metamorphosis unlike that of any other European city: from an industrial heartland of the Habsburg Empire, Communism of the twentieth century, and wild capitalism that marked the era following the Fall of the Berlin Wall, through its recent urban renaissance. Ostrava could tell stories of ideas that worked and ideas that did not. Deeply rooted in the tristate region of Moravia-Silesia, Ostrava offers a diverse and tolerant place for the exploration of the past and the present, and ultimately a peek into the future.

The forum’s main site, the meticulously renovated Gong multi-function hall exemplifies the forum’s goals. In the past, a gasometer for the furnaces of the industrial complex Vitkovice, Gong now provides a giant melting pot for an exchange of innovative thoughts.

Why Ostrava?

Tradition of tolerance, and coexistence of ethnic minorities

Geographic proximity to large population centers within a 250 – mile radius (Prague, Vienna, Krakow, Katowice, Wroclaw, Brno and Bratislava)

Direct link to the largest international festival in the Czech Republic