Welcome to Bohumín – the town full of contrasts. It is said about Bohumín that you either fall in love with it at the first visit or you hate it. There is no other choice. It may be caused by a lot of green areas and water streams contrasted with the industry and transport connected with it. Bohumín lives a varied life which is enabled by wide sports and cultural opportunities. If you are interested in details, let us acquaint you with these remarkable contrasts. Bohumín as a border town is the Moravian-Silesian Gate, through which we are going to enter Silesia and the Baltic States together.
Bohumín borders Poland and it is situated in the northern part of the Moravian- Silesian region. The town has an advantageous strategic location thanks to which it plays an important role not only in the region but also in the whole republic. It is located on a junction of rail lines, at the confluence of the Odra and the Olše and at the border of two states. The natural border with Poland is formed by the picturesque flood plains of the Odra and the Olše which join into one river in Bohumín. The town is situated in the Ostrava basin and it is less than 5 kilometers away from the industrial Ostrava. Bohumín takes the area of 3,109 hectares and it is situated in lowlands with no higher hills. The highest point of the town is Záblatský Hill which is 248 m above sea level. The lowest place of Bohumín is at the confluence of the Odra and the Olše where the Odra leaves the Czech Republic. With the height of 189 m above sea level it is also the lowest point of the Moravian-Silesian region. The Odra and its meanders have become an attractive place for nature lovers thanks to its interesting fauna and flora. Environmentalists would like to declare it a conservation area.
The population of Bohumin is over 23,000 inhabitants who live in seven town parts called Nový Bohumín, Pudlov, Skřečoň, Starý Bohumín, Šunychl, Vrbice and Záblatí. The names of the town parts indicate that originally these were independent municipalities which were found in the 13th century and gradually developed. The first written mention of Bogun is as old as from 1256. The town was integrated to the current form in 1974.
Bohumín has had an important strategic location since its foundation. The town has kept this importance to the present. As early as in the 12th century Bohumín was the crossing of important trade ways. The Salt Trail led from Moravia to Krakow and the Amber Trail led from Hungary to Teąín and further to the Baltic Sea. The way from Prague to Krakow also used to lead through this place. The settlement was established at the busy location which was suitable for crossing over the river. This fact is supported by the construction of a bridge in the 15th century which was, unfortunately, many times swept away by the swollen river. Due to the increase of travelling, the number of settlers was rising as well and the settlement called Bogun was already a large village in the times of Přemysl Otakar II. The first written mention of Bogun however originates from 1256 and it relates to the present town part of Starý Bohumín. It is certain that the permanent settlement was there much earlier. According to its name “Bogun” we can presume it was a Slavonic settlement.
The town was integrated to the present form in 1974. Bohumín forms the industrial area of the region together with Ostrava and other towns. Several leading companies operate in this area, which employ the majority of economically active inhabitants not only from Bohumín but also from its vicinity. The most prosperous companies include Bekaert, s.r.o., Bochemie, s.r.o., Benotrans, a.s., České dráhy – the railway station and the locomotive depot, Rockwool, a.s. and Železárny a drátovny Bohumín, a.s.
The meandering river, which flows through Bohumín, has prepared many a surprise. Nature lovers will surely come to their own by taking a walk on its banks. The unique peaceful spots of the border meanders are the habitat of many animals. Beavers and otters live there and kingfishers nest there. With a bit of luck a watchful visitor may see them. Every now and again the Odra washes ashore a cheek tooth or a vertebra of a mammoth which probably used to walk in its channel. In 2004 a border stone originating from the period of Maria Theresia was found near the river in the local part of Kopytov. These extraordinary meanders begin at the Bohumín – Chalupki border- -crossing and they roll through a wide river floodplain being 7 km long, up to the junction of the Odra and the Olše. The area of the right Odra bank with Kaliąova Lakes and wetlands of dead channels reaching from the northern border of Starý Bohumín to the junction of the Odra and the Olše are unique by their significant fauna and flora. Therefore, this area has been recommended to be listed in the national list of regions with a special protection as “Meanders of the lower Odra” and it has been proposed to be declared the regional system of NATURA 2000. The negotiations are in progress about the possibility to declare this area a “preserved natural area”. The Petr Bezruč Park in the centre of Bohumín offers a green rest in the everyday rush not only for the local people, but also for tourists. It was founded in 1907 at the place of the former pheasantry by the regional president Jindřich, the Earl of Larisch-Mönnich. The base stone of the park is placed at its entrance until the present. Originally it was an English park, but it has changed during two world wars to the present appearance. The park is still the gem of Bohumín due to its varied growth of tree species. About sixty species of bushes and trees grow there, ranging from acacia to the northern white cedar. In the middle of the wide-stretching park there is a grandiose Monument of The Killed in both the World Wars on which there is a sculpture of a naked kneeling wounded soldier who bears on a sword as a symbol of hope. Adjacent to the park there are tennis courts, two football pitches, the “Hobby Park” for children and the open-air cinema and amphitheatre with an outdoor restaurant. The developing sports and relaxation premises naturally continue the park. Not only the natural places of interest, but also the town location right at the border with Poland and a varied offer of leisure time, sport, cultural and other activities make the formerly exclusively industrial town an attractive place with sufficient opportunities for reasonable utilisation of leisure time. This is the reason why Bohumín is visited by more visitors year by year.
Vision of future
Thanks to its strategic traffic location which we have already mentioned before, Bohumín has the best prerequisite to become an important traffic junction of the Czech Republic and Europe. Since the middle of the 19th century the town has been dominated by the railway, by which it is possible to travel in all directions. But it is not the only pride. Bohumín is at the road and railway border crossing with the Polish Republic at the same time. It has a good and fast connection to the regional town Ostrava from which it is no more than 5 kilometres away. Bohumín will also be crossed by the D47 highway which is currently under construction in several parts of the town. There are also discussions on the possible canalizing of the river Odra and the construction of a transshipment point – road and railway, which would be connected to a wide-gauge line and become a bridge between Europe and Asia. These and other projects important for the town have been included in the municipal plan approved by the town council. Bohumín forms the industrial area of the region with Ostrava and other towns. The town has prepared the area of approximately 15 hectares for business development in the vicinity of the future D47 highway and the highway junction. The industrial zone in the territory of the neighbouring Dolní Lutyně could become another important developmental area. If our government agrees on its construction with individual ministries and the European Union, it will belong, with its area of 180 hectares, to the strategic places in the Moravian- -Silesian Region. In recent years the town invested in the building of the water purification plant in Šunychl, the reconstruction of the Dr. E. Beneąe Street and the construction of a new car park in the centre of the town, and in the drainage of the Olše streams in Nová Ves. It continued the gas supply construction and started the first stage of regeneration of the panel blocks of flats in the residential area of Budoucnosti Square. The town centre regeneration will continue with the adaptation of the T. G. Masaryk square in front of the town hall and the reconstruction of the cinema in the next.
Published / updated: 1.6.2006
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