Ústí nad Labem Region: Remarkable and Unique
The Ústí nad Labem Region, one of the Czech Republic’s most industrialised areas, has been the country’s main energy supplier for years. After the phasing out of intensive coal mining in the 1990s and the revitalisation of the countryside, the Region is regaining its reputation as an area of European significance with unique natural resources. Its efforts to improve the environment still further and to revitalise vast new areas is continuing.
The centre of the Region is the city of Ústí nad Labem, a transport junction of national and international significance, where important European roads, railway lines and waterways cross. The Ústí nad Labem Region is divided into seven districts (Děčín, Chomutov, Litoměřice, Louny, Most, Teplice and Ústí nad Labem). In addition, there are four areas in the Region, which differ from each other significantly. One of them is the area in the foothills of the Ore Mountains with strongly developed industry, comprising the districts of Chomutov, Most, Teplice and a part of Ústí nad Labem. The dominant industries there are power generation, coal mining, engineering, the chemical industry and glassmaking.
The next area extends around Litoměřice and Louny and is known for hop cultivation and the growing of vegetables. The Labe and Ohře valleys are famous fruit-growing areas, known as the “Garden of Bohemia”. The grape varieties grown around Litoměřice are also renowned.
In recent years, another area, that around Most, has become a well-known vine-growing district, where vines are cultivated especially on post-mining re-cultivated land. The Ore Mountains area is a sparsely populated, mountainous landscape with limited economic activities.
The last area to be mentioned is that around Děčín, which has no heavy industry and no agriculture (its northern part around Šluknov is too far away from the centre of the Region, not easily accessible and is a typical periphery area).
The Region’s traditional industries are engineering and the chemical industry. There are several secondary vocational schools in the Region, which ensure an adequate supply of skilled labour for local enterprises. In addition, Ústí nad Labem is also an important centre of advanced education, led by the Jan Evangelista Purkyně University.
The most important employers in the Ústí nad Labem Region include the Mostecká uhelná společnost and Severočeské doly mining companies, the Chemopetrol chemical firm and the Krajská zdravotní a.s. regional healthcare company, which affiliates hospitals in Děčín, Ústí nad Labem, Teplice, Most and Chomutov.
The Ústí nad Labem Region holds great allure to foreign investors and the region has a lot to offer investors, including strategic industrial parks (SIP). One of them is the Joseph SIP, located in Havraň, Most District, some 8 km from the city of Most with its population of 67 500. It covers an area of 175 ha. The companies located in the Joseph SIP and pursuing business activities there are Nemak Czech Republic, s.r.o., Starcam, s.r.o., RAI Most, s.r.o., and AFSI Europe, s.r.o.
The Triangle Strategic Industrial Park is located in an area whose boundaries overlap three districts – Chomutov, Most and Louny. It is situated on the site of the former Žatec Airport in a location easily reached by road. The locality adjoins the Prague – Chomutov – Hora Sv. Šebestiána/Reitzenhain, Germany expressway, which crosses the I/27 Most – Žatec – Plzeň Class 1 road in close proximity to the park. The industrial park covers an area of 365 ha. Other industrial parks are to be found in Kadaň, Chomutov, Rumburk and Klášterec nad Ohří. For investors preferring already existing facilities, the Region can offer a large number of unused industrial and commercial facilities.
Culture, Nature, Life
The Ústí nad Labem Region has a number of attractive localities for tourists. The development of tourism is one of the Region’s priorities. The best-known natural attractions of the Region include the Bohemian Switzerland National Park, covering an area of 7 900 ha, established in the year 2000, the Bohemian Highlands and the Labe Sandstones protected landscape areas, a part of the Kokořín area and the Lužice Mountains, the lovely pathway along the Labe with Porta Bohemica, the Tiská Walls rock formations, and many others. Numerous cultural sights and monuments, such as Terezín and Střekov Castle, the Gothic Church in Most, the Baroque Castle in Duchcov, the monasteries in Osek and Doksany and the chateaux of Ploskovice and Libochovice are also very popular. A variety of events are organised for visitors at the Litoměřice exhibition ground all the year round. The most popular among these are the “Garden of Bohemia” exhibition for fruit and vegetable growers and consumers and the “My House My Castle” home furnishing and construction fair.
The Region provides a diversity of sporting opportunities and cultural events (theatres, museums, galleries) all the year round. During the season, lovers of speed are attracted to the Most Autodrom motorsport race track. Children and adults can enjoy Summer and water sports in Aqua Park, while horse lovers and racing fans can spend their time in the Hippodrome in Most. Modern sporting and recreation grounds, cycle paths, golf courses and children’s playgrounds have arisen on the Region’s recultivated ground.
The geographical position of the Děčín District is unique in the framework of the whole of the Czech Republic, as it combines the District’s economically advantageous conditions, arising from the existence of an important transport junction in the vicinity of the border and the proximity and easy accessibility of large centres on both sides of the border, with the District’s beautiful natural environment unique in all Central Europe in extent and character. More at www.mmdecin.cz
The Chomutov District is situated in the foothills of the Ore Mountains, a range forming the border with Germany. It is rich in raw materials, which are extracted and used for power generation. A large part of the social and technical infrastructure is concentrated in this District. For decades, the Chomutov District has been known as the centre of heavy industry, power engineering, metallurgy and brown coal mining. Now, foreign investors are arriving to conduct activities in the traditional sectors of industry, or are starting up new activities. More at www.chomutov-mesto.cz
As 72% of the District’s surface area comprises farmland, the main economic activities include vegetable and fruit growing, hop cultivation and vine growing. The importance of these activities is reflected in the naming of the Litoměřice District as the “Garden of Bohemia” and the holding of exhibitions of the same name in Litoměřice each year (www.zahrada.cech.cz), attracting visitors from far and wide. From the point of view of broader transport links, the District is an important corridor for international and national transport, especially in the direction of Hamburg – Berlin – Dresden – Prague – Brno – Vienna – Budapest.
Great changes have taken place in the District’s economy over the past decade. Agriculture is an important economic sector in the District, specialising in the production of cereals, oleaginous crops, meat and eggs. Hop cultivation and fruit growing play a significant role. The large number of cultural and historical monuments in the Louny District is evidence of its important past. Archaeological finds testify to the existence of settlements there as far back as the Later Stone Age.
The centre of the District is occupied by the Most Brown Coal Basin. The immense wealth of the District’s mineral deposits has pre-determined its character and economic importance. The characteristic feature of the District is the high proportion of surface area covered by industrial structures. Most strongly represented industries in the District are mining, petrochemistry, the power industry and engineering.
The city of Teplice is a historically important industrial and manufacturing centre. Numerous medium-sized and hundreds of small private manufacturing and trading companies came into being there in the 1990s, changing the former one-sided orientation of the city, which specialised mainly in ceramic production and glassmaking. However, glassmaking still plays an important role in the city. Balneology is a sector which continues to be of great importance to the economy of the District. The curative mineral springs of Lázně Teplice spa are among the best-known and intensively used in Central Europe. In olden times, Teplice was termed the “Salon of Europe”.
Ústí nad Labem District
The majority of the District’s population (80%) live in the regional city of Ústí nad Labem. The chemical industry is a key sector, which has taken advantage of the geographical position of the city and its excellent transport facilities.
North Bohemian Association of Communities, www.seso.cz
Regional Development Agency of the Ústí nad Labem Region, www.rra.cz