The rigorously built functionalistic city is a unique display of interwar modern urbanism and architecture, not only on the Czech scale. Everything is economical, rational and functional: villas, family houses and residential homes, workers’ colonies, collective houses, public buildings, the first Czech skyscraper, and original street numbers based on orientation and house numbers based on their location. This distinctive city, where all the buildings look alike, is worth seeing.

Baťa, the Visionary - The kingdom of shoes that conquered the world

Tomáš Baťa Sr., the founder of the famous shoe of Zlín, was a visionary. He launched an unbelievable boom of the city and the region by creating unparalleled conditions for living and working. His social, housing and wage policy were not only unusual for Czechoslovakia, but also for Western Europe. The ingenious innovations led to global expansion and today, you can buy Baťa shoes on all continents, except for the Antarctic. In 1939, Antonín Baťa gave Zlín a new dominant feature: the iconic administrative Building 21 and the centre of the family empire. Thanks to the sixteen floors and a height of 77.5 metres, it was called the first skyscraper in Czechoslovakia. Today, you can still admire the functional travelling office of the company boss, located in a lift. You can learn more about the Baťa brand by visiting another functionalistic building: 14|15 Baťa Institute, which hosts a museum with an exposition called the Baťa Principle.

Zlín Functionalism - A combination of steel, glass, brick and reinforced concrete

The world today also admires the unique urbanism and the typical “Baťa” architecture. It was created by ingenious standardisation, unification, economisation of building and maximum simplification when it comes to the number of building components. The combination of a reinforced-concrete framework with brick masonry and windows in metal frames gave birth to the unique world of impressive modern, economical and functional architecture. People used to live, work, shop and have fun in the unmistakeable buildings. You cannot escape functionalism in Zlín, even if you are wearing the famous Baťa shoes.

The City of Shoes, Young People and Film - The largest film festival for children and youth in the world

You can find Baťa shoes all over the world. They are no longer made in Zlín, but they made the city famous, in addition to the functionalistic architecture. The Baťa spirit and entrepreneurship might get transferred to the students of Tomáš Baťa University with the Shoe Design Studio, where the Baťa Information Centre is located in the library. The city is also well known thanks to the Zlín Film Festival, the oldest and largest film festival for children and youth in the world.

Modern Art Gallery - Purchases from shows gave a foundation to a gallery

The Baťa Company in Zlín also contributed to the foundation of a professional art gallery. The gallery was created thanks to works of art purchased in various shows, contemporary Czech art shows, both classic and avant-garde. The gallery is seated in Building 14 of the Zlín factory premises. The new Zlín Salon successfully follows the tradition together with the Zlín Youth Salon, focusing on the most interesting works by talented artists under 30.

Tips for Trips around Zlín

A stroll through the Luhačovice spa is spectacular thanks to the fairy-like architecture by Dušan Jurkovič. Moreover, you can taste water from publicly accessible curative springs. Jurkovič’s gingerbread-house-like architecture can also be found at Pustevny. The uniqueness of the Archbishop Chateau and the Flower and Chateau Gardens in Kroměříž has been confirmed by its registration on the UNESCO list. Vizovice is famous for its chateau and fruit spirits with the famous being Rudolf Jelínek plum brandy. The Wallachian Open-air Museum in Rožnov pod Radhoštěm is the largest and oldest open-air museum in Central Europe with more than a hundred original buildings.

Gastrotips from a local


Municipal Information and Tourist Centre Zlín, náměstí Míru 12
761 40 Zlín