Basic information about town
The town of Opava lies on the river Opava in a fertile valley between the hills of Nízký Jeseník and the lowland Poopavská nížina. Opava covers the area of almost 90 sq km with a population a little under 60,000.
The town name presumably originates from the German word APA and Celtic AHWA or AHAWA, both of which mean water or lots of water. Blending the two words led to the Czech name Opava, Latin Opavia, and German Troppau.
Legend about the Origin of the Town Name
Many centuries ago two noblemen met on the site of today’s town. They were on a hunting trip and because they liked the area, they set up camp there. One morning, as they walked out of their tents, they saw a procession of merchants. The merchants were coming from faraway Eastern lands and offered their goods to the noblemen (they were selling expensive carpets, swords, daggers, spices, and other things), and they also showed them a stunningly beautiful bird the men had never seen before in their lives! And as these things happen, each lord wanted the bird for himself. The merchants could not decide whom to sell the bird and so an argument started. When it seemed that there would be a fight between the lords, the Eastern merchants suggested that one of the noblemen could get the peacock there and then and they would bring another one next year for the other man. What a thing to say! The first lord insisted that he should take the bird as it was his wife’s birthday and he would like to give it to her, but of course the other nobleman did not consent. The day was coming to an end when the wiser of the two men told the other to keep the peacock and angrily marched off to his tent. When he had calmed down, he went to see the other lord to make peace with him. They were drinking mead and making merry, when the lord who did not get the bird suggested they could set up a town in the place to commemorate the event. But what should they call the town? They were racking their brains, putting forward different names, but nothing seemed good enough for their new town. And then the nobleman who had bought the bird cried, "Let’s name the town after the magnificent bird!" The other man liked the idea, but thought the name would be too short. And so the first lord said that since they had been arguing over a peacock (Czech o páva), they should call the town Opava! They were both happy with the idea and started to rejoice. They also named the river where they had set up their camp Opava, and although many years have since passed, the town and river are still here.
Coat of Arms
The coat of arms is a vertically halved shield. It features a half of a silver female eagle in a golden armour (a beak, tongue, and talon) in the left red field. The right silver field is split with three red inverted chevrons in the red half.
The oldest form of the Opava coat of arms dates back to 1289, when it was put on a seal. At that time it featured a Gothic gable with a stake and three chevrons one above the other. The colours are unknown, but we can assume they were red and silver, the colours of the crest of Opava nobles. This assumption is supported by a deed issued by Rudolf II on 24 November 1579, in which the emperor heard the request of the town representatives and established that the new "coat of arms is to be vertically split, with the right half red or ruby, and the left half white or silver, and there shall be three red or ruby chevrons pointing down in the left half of the coat of arms with the rest white or silver". Over time this prescribed form was forgotten, the silver half-eagle was replaced by a black Silesian female eagle, and the chevrons were replaced by waves. On 16 November 1895 a document issued by the Ministry of the Interior re-constituted Rudolf’s decree.
The Opava flag consists of two horizontal stripes, white and red, on which lies the coat of arms of the Statutory Town of Opava. The ratio of the length and width is 3:5, the size of the emblem is in the ratio of 3:5 to the width of the flag.
The logo of Opava visually and philosophically originates in two sources, one of which is historical, and the other characterizes the present. One source reinforces the other:
- The legend of the origin of the name OPAVA – "Arguing over a peacock (Czech o páva)"
- The play on words based on the name of the town – O...PAV...A (where the middle forms the word peacock)
For these reasons the symbol of peacock was incorporated to form a characteristic and unmistakable town logo.
The town logo has the following characteristics:
- the town name (Opava)
- the main symbol (stylized peacock)
- a complementary symbol (crown – the symbol of the royal authority)
- the colour scheme (used to this date and based on the Opava coat of arms)
- red (accentuating, royal colour)
- white (characterizes the "white" Opava)
- silver, grey (luxurious, refined colour)
- average temperature + 8.2 ºC
- average precipitation 640 mm
- minimal temperature -35 ºC
- maximal temperature +35 ºC