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Opava, Ger. Troppau, city (1991 pop. 62,815), NE Czech Republic, in Moravia, on the Opava River and near the Polish border. A prosperous market center in a fertile agricultural region, it has food-processing plants and industries producing clothing, machinery, and railroad cars. The city is also a road and rail hub. Opava was founded in the 12th cent. and later became the capital of Austrian Silesia. In 1820 representatives of the European great powers met there, at the Congress of Troppau, to discuss problems arising after the settlement of the Napoleonic Wars. City landmarks include a 15th-century cathedral built by the Teutonic Knights, the 15th-century Church of St. George, and a 17th-century Jesuit foundation.

Opava (IPA ; Troppau, Opawa) is a city in the northern Czech Republic on the Opava River, located to the north-west of Ostrava. The historical capital of Czech Silesia, Opava is now in the Moravian-Silesian Region and has a population of 59,843 as of January 1 2005.


Opava was first documented in 1195. It received Magdeburg city rights in 1224 and was the capital of the Silesian, Bohemian and finally Austrian Duchy of Opava.

In 1614 Karl I of Liechtenstein became Duke of Opava. After the majority of Silesia was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia during the War of the Austrian Succession after 1740, the remaining Silesian territory still under the control of the Habsburg Monarchy became known as Austrian Silesia with its capital in Opava(1742–1918). The Congress of Troppau took place here in 1820.

According to the Austrian census of 1910 the town had 30,762 inhabitants, 29,587 of whom had permanent residence there. Census asked people for their native language, 27,240 (92%) were German-speaking, 2,039 (6.9%) were Czech-speaking and 274 (0.9%) were Polish-speaking. Jews were not allowed to declare Yiddish, most of them thus declared the German language as their native. Most populous religious groups were Roman Catholics with 28,379 (92.2%), followed by Protestants with 1,155 (3.7%) and the Jews with 1,112 (3.6%).

After the defeat of Austria-Hungary in World War I, Opava became part of Czechoslovakia in 1919, as Opava.

From 1938–45 Opava was part of Nazi Germany according to the Munich agreement. Already a day before Germany's annexation of the Sudetenland in 1938, the town seceded from its okres and became its own Stadtkreis. After the end of World War II, the German population of Opava was expelled in 1945–46; many of them settled in Bamberg, Germany.

While the Duchy of Opava has ceased to exist, the title of Duke of Opava lives on to present day, with Hans-Adam II, Prince of Liechtenstein being the current incumbent.

Economy and culture

Opava is currently an important business and cultural center. It is the location of several economic and cultural institutions serving the entire region, including the Silesian Land's Museum, the Silesian University of Opava, and the Silesian Institute of the Academy of Science. The city is part of a congested industrial area along with Ostrava and produces mining equipment. Opava also awards its own Cultural Prize. The Silesian Theatre in Opava was founded in the year 1805. Plays were performed in German until the end of the Second World War.

Notable residents


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