31. August 2022

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Just over five kilometers from the center of Ostrava lies an authentic early 20th-century coal mine complex. The preserved complex, including a mining building, pithead, engine room, and chain cloakrooms, looks as if time ground to a halt during the final shift.

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Photo: Dan Suhay

Original technical equipment

The boiler house is equipped with a unique functional steam engine from 1893. The engine room features electrically powered machinery from 1912-1915, when the mine was upgraded into a modern fully-electrified operation. And the buildings also date from this time.

From the beginning of the 20th century to the present day, the whole area, including the technical equipment, has remained largely unchanged. In 1993, when mining activities ended, the National Heritage Institute took over the administration of the Michal Mine.

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Photo: Dan Suhay

Preserved offices of the director and geologists

The exhibition, open to the public, will take you from the chain cloakrooms through the two-storey administration building with the dispensary, control room, director's office, and mine surveyors' and geologists' offices, through the lamp room, across the connecting bridge and into the mining building where miners entered the mining cages.

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Photo: Dan Suhay

In the mine's engine room, electric mining machines and compressors from the early days of electrification still stand in the original place where they were installed between 1912 and 1915.

Miners' facilities, including the infirmary, changing rooms, and bathrooms

In addition to the technical equipment, there are also preserved facilities for miners, including an infirmary for providing first aid, chain cloakrooms, and bathrooms. The premises were designed for 1,500 miners, but twice as many men worked there in the second half of the 20th century.

The chain cloakrooms, bathrooms, and guild hall are currently used as exhibition spaces.

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Photo: Dan Suhay

4.5-hectare complex

The Michal Mine comprises a two-storey administrative building, which houses part of the exposition, a mining building, a 41.5 m high pithead, a machine room, a boiler room, and an electrical substation. In addition, there are several other buildings, a sorting house and smaller buildings of a technical nature which are suitable only for filming exteriors.

The largest rooms - the guild hall, the chain cloakrooms, the electro-distribution hall, and the engine room - range in size from 300 to 500 m2.

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Photo: Stepan Bajt

Drinking water, electrical connections, and parking on site

Drinking water and 220 V electrical connections are available throughout the premises, with 380 V connections in several places, in the guild hall, the chain changing rooms, and four locations throughout the outdoor area.

Parking is available in front of the Michal Mine, with a capacity of 20 cars, while inside the complex, there is space for another 30 cars.

The restaurant U Cingra is located inside the Michal Mine complex, and other catering and accommodation options are available in Ostrava, five kilometers away.

Facilities management that is a pleasure to work with

A strength of the location is its capable management, which is willing to accommodate film productions. "The people at Michal Mine have always been great to work with and have often lent a hand with technical solutions during filming. For example, for one film, they arranged for water to flow from the showers, which hadn't worked for decades," confirmed Klára Kohutová of the Moravian-Silesian Film Office.

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Photo: Dan Suhay

So far, only a few projects have been filmed here: Radim Špaček's Czech film Pouta in 2008; then four years later, a music video for the song Together by the musician performing under the name Etostone; in 2013, the South Korean film Ode to My Father; and most recently, in 2019, an episode of the Czech TV series Místo zločinu Ostrava.

Advantages of an authentic industrial location

"The Michal Mine is exceptional – it is a legacy of our past with an emphasis on the maximum preservation of the authenticity of the mining environment," emphasizes its administrator Vojtěch Polášek.

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Photo: Dan Suhay

The Michal Mine features over 100 years of preserved technical equipment, management offices, and miners' facilities at the original site of its operation in a completely authentic environment. Thus, the complex offers a uniquely coherent location that is difficult to create in a studio or find elsewhere. Come and take a look!

Contact for filming in the Moravian-Silesian Region:

Moravian-Silesian Fill Office, Klára Kohutová (klara.kohutova@mstourism.cz, +420 734 517 007)