[kahr-vi-nuh; Czech kahr-vee-nah]
Karviná, Ger. Karwin, city (1991 pop. 68,405), NE Czech Republic, in Moravia, near the Polish border. It is an industrial center of the Ostrava-Karviná coal-mining region. Formerly in Austria, the city became (after 1918) an object of dispute between Poland and Czechoslovakia; after World War I a conference of Allied ambassadors awarded (1920) it to Czechoslovakia despite Polish claims. The city was seized by Poland in Oct., 1938, but was restored to Czechoslovakia in 1945.

Karviná (IPA , Polish: , Karwin) is a city in Moravian-Silesian Region of the Czech Republic, on the Olza River. It is administrative center of Karviná District. Karviná lies in the historical region of Cieszyn Silesia and is one of the most important coal mining centers in the Czech Republic. Together with neighboring towns it forms industrial Ostrava-Karviná Coal Basin.

It has 65,141 inhabitants (2001 census). 8.5% of the population are Slovaks and 8% of the population are Poles. Polish population is historically declining. There is also a growing Roma community.


Till 19th century it was a low importance village of Cieszyn Silesia, lying near the important town of Fryštát. Discovery of coal led to rapid development of Karviná and surrounding villages, railroad tracks were soon built. After the split of Cieszyn Silesia in 1920 it became a part of Czechoslovakia as a main mining center of the country. In 1923 it gained city rights. In October 1938 was annexed by Poland, together with whole region known as Zaolzie and during World War II was a part of Nazi Germany. After the war it became again a part of Czechoslovakia. In 1948 occurred merger of Karviná, Fryštát and surrounding villages of Darkov, Ráj and Staré Město to the one city named Karviná. Coat of arms of Fryštát was chosen as the coat of arms of Karviná. Fryštát became a historical center of this industrial city.

Karviná is also an important cultural and educational center of the Polish minority in the Czech Republic.


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