The Faculty of Philosophy and Science, as a part of the Silesian University, contributes to the character of the statutory town Opava as a cultural and educational centre of the Czech Silesia. Opava, which covers 90 sq kilometres and has a population of about 60,000 people, lies on the Opava River in a fertile valley. It borders on the projections of the Lower Jeseníky Mountains in the southwest, and the Poopavská Lowlands stretches east of the town.
The town and its surroundings are an important archaeological locality. Archaeological research has proved the existence of the Slavic Castle Site from the 10th –12th century. The first written record about a settlement dates from 1195, and a town settlement is evidenced by a document from 1224. At the beginning of the 14th century, the Principality of Opava, whose foundation was related to the Dynasty of Přemysl, was established within the Czech Crown.
Educational institutions in Opava are mentioned already in the second half of the14th century, and it was in 1630 when the Jesuit Hall was founded. The development of the educational system reflected the musical, religious and cultural life of the whole region. Schools played their role in the foundation of the theatre stage in 1808, when the first building of the theatre was built. It was in Opava where the first museum in the area of the Czech Republic was founded in 1814.
In 1883 a Czech grammar school was founded thanks to the Matice Česká. The grammar school played an important role in the dissemination of culture, and it was the only secondary school in the Austrian part of Silesia. Opava has been a work and study place of many well-known personalities of science and culture. It is both the birthplace and burying ground of the poet Petr Bezruč (1867-1958). J. G. Mendel (1822-1884), the founder of modern genetics, studied at a local grammar school. Other natives of Opava were: J. M. Olbrich (1867-1908), an architect from Vienna and a co-founder of Vienna Art Nouveau, the writer A. C. Nor (1903-1986) and Joy Adamson (1910-1980), a tireless fighter for African nature and the author of books about the lioness Elsa.
Today, Opava is a statutory town, where the Silesian University and several important scientific workplaces are located: the Silesian Provincial Museum with the Silesian Institute, which used to be part of the Academy of Sciences, and the Provincial Archives, which is the third largest archive in the Czech Republic.
Although the town suffered a serious damage at the end of World War Two, today‘s visitors can admire many cultural sights and beautiful parks. The town’s surroundings are full of cultural and historical sights such as castles Hradec nad Moravicí, Kravaře, Raduň, a fortified castle ruin Vikštejn or Arboretum in Nový Dvůr.
The cultural life in Opava is centred around the Silesian Theatre, the Silesian Museum, the House of Art, the Marionette Theatre and numerous private galleries.
Events reaching over the regional borders take place here every year. The most important ones are: the Bezruč Opava Festival, the Festival of Spiritual Music, the Young Organ Players Competition, the Worldwide Orchestra Conducting Courses and ETNOJAZZ – International Festival of Ethnic and Jazz Music.
Opava‘s past and present has been rich in sports. Opava is represented by the SFC Opava football team, by HC Slezan in ice-hockey and by BK Opava in basketball. Horse riding has been a traditional sport in Opava. At the Faculty there is a system of compulsory Physical Education for the first-year students; optional PE lessons for the people interested, and a number of courses offered every year by the Centre of Interdisciplinary Studies.
Ostrava Expat Centre is a free public information service for Expats in the Moravian-Silesian Region. The purpose of the Centre is to help foreigners coming to work and live in the Moravian-Silesian Region have a "soft landing" here. They also offer assistance in sorting out official documentation and formalities related to life in the Czech Republic. Our Erasmus+ students can take the opportunity to attend various events for the community of Expats!
AS2 is a civil association focusing on organisation of cultural events for students and others. Every year it organises a Majáles (Rag-day), which lasts for several days, with its traditional cultural festival Za branami. Furthermore, it offers regular rock parties and co-organises the events of the House of Art and of the civic association Bludný kámen. You can find more information at SU2 FB page.