Ostrava’s New City Hall is now a national cultural monument

11/12 2023

The Czech government has approved a proposal by the Ministry of Culture to list the New City Hall in Ostrava as a national cultural monument. Built between the world wars to replace the much older and smaller city hall (hence the word “new” in its name), it has become one of Ostrava’s most prominent and distinctive landmarks – and now it has been officially recognized as one of the most important historical buildings in the Czech Republic.

Ostrava’s New City Hall is now a national cultural monument

The New City Hall today. Photography: Lukáš Kaboň

The New City Hall was built in Moravská Ostrava between 1929 and 1930. Its central part is flanked by two perpendicular wings and topped by a viewing tower. The building was ceremonially opened on 28 October 1930 to mark the 12th anniversary of Czechoslovakia’s independence. Designed by the architects František Kolář and Jan Rubý, its construction cost 52 million crowns (for comparison, the average monthly wage in the 1930s was around 800 crowns).

It is still the largest city hall complex in the Czech Republic (and indeed in the whole of the former Czechoslovakia). The tower reaches 85.6 metres above ground level, making it the tallest tower of any city hall in the country, and there is a popular viewing terrace at a height of 73 metres. The New City Hall underwent a major renovation during the 1990s, restoring its beautiful period interiors to their former glory.

In addition to the New City Hall, the government also approved the listing of a further 17 national cultural monuments; 14 of them are city hall complexes. Proposals for awarding national cultural monument status are drawn up by the Ministry of Culture in conjunction with the National Heritage Institute. The Ministry of Culture can list buildings as cultural monuments without any further consultation, but national cultural monuments have to be approved by the government.