Karvina is a city in Moravian-Silesian Region of the Czech Republic, on the Olza River. It is administrative center of Karvina; District. Karvina; lies in the historical region of Cieszyn Silesia and is one of the most important coal mining centers in the Czech Republic. Together with neighboring towns it forms industrial Ostrava-Karvina; Coal Basin. It has 65,141 inhabitants (2001 census). 8.5% of the population are Slovaks and 8% of the population are Poles. Polish population is historically declining. In the past the town had a significant German community. There is also a growing Roma community.
Till 19th century it was a low importance village of Cieszyn Silesia, lying near the important town of Frystat. Discovery of coal led to rapid development of Karvina and surrounding villages, railroad tracks were soon built. After the split of Cieszyn Silesia in 1920 it became a part of Czechoslovakia as a main mining center of the country. In 1923 it gained city rights. In October 1938 was annexed by Poland, together with whole 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 Karvina, Frystat and the surrounding villages of Darkov, Raj and Stare Mesto were merged into one city named Karvina. The coat of arms of Frystat was chosen as the coat of arms of Karvina and Frystat became the historical center of this industrial city.