Karviná (Czech pronunciation: [ˈkarvɪnaː] (listen); Polish: Karwina, Polish pronunciation: [karˈvina] (listen), German: Karwin) is a city in the Moravian-Silesian Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 51,000 inhabitants. It is administrative centre of Karviná District. Karviná lies on the Olza River in the historical region of Cieszyn Silesia and is one of the most important coal mining centres in the Czech Republic. Together with neighbouring cities it forms the industrial Ostrava-Karviná Coal Basin.
Karviná is made up of nine city parts and villages:
Until the 19th century Karviná was a less significant village of Cieszyn Silesia, lying near the important town of Fryštát. The discovery of coal led to rapid urban development in Karviná and surrounding villages, and railways were soon built. After the split of Cieszyn Silesia in 1920 it became a part of Czechoslovakia as a main mining centre in the country. In 1923 it gained city rights. In October 1938 was annexed by Poland, together with the entire region known as Zaolzie, and during World War II was a part of Nazi Germany. After the war it again became a part of Czechoslovakia. In 1948 Karviná, Fryštát, and the surrounding villages of Darkov, Ráj, and Staré Město were merged into one city named Karviná. The coat of arms of Fryštát was chosen as the coat of arms of Karviná and Fryštát became the historical centre of this industrial city.
The period after World War II is characterised by the economic orientation on heavy industry. Currently the city is still reliant on dense heavy industry but is slowly restructuring its influence by developing other economic activities. Karviná is also the centre of education in this region with its wide range of specialised secondary schools and, especially, the Faculty of Commerce and Business of the Silesian University in Opava. In 2003, Karviná became a statutory city.
According to the 1980 census, at its peak, Karviná had 78,546 inhabitants, but the population dropped under 51,000. According to the 2011 census, 5.7% of the population are Poles and 5.4% of the population are Slovaks. The Polish population has been historically declining. In the past the town had a significant German community. There is also a growing Romani community.
Karviná, as a multi-ethnic city of Cieszyn Silesia, was a home to many football clubs established by particular ethnic groups after World War I. At that time many football clubs within the Polish, German, Czech, and Jewish communities were founded. The best known and most successful Polish club was PKS Polonia Karwina, founded in 1919. After World War II, the German and Jewish clubs were not reestablished. The Czech and Polish clubs existed until the 1950s, when as a part of a communist unification of sport in Czechoslovakia, the Czech clubs were joined to ZSJ OKD Mír Karviná and the Polish Polonia Karwina was incorporated into that club. Today, the only football club in the city is MFK Karviná, playing in the first division.
Karviná is also home to a successful handball club, HCB Karviná, which became twice Czechoslovak champions and eleven times Czech champions. Other sport clubs in the city include two ice hockey teams SK Karviná (playing in the lower division) and HC Baník Karviná (playing in the 2nd Czech league), and the athletics club, with tennis, gymnastics, and ice skating being also very popular and established sports within the region.
Twin towns – sister cities
Karviná is twinned with:
Wodzisław Śląski, Poland