The first museum in Ostrava, founded by the teacher, educational campaigner and collector Karel Jaromír Bukovanský, was opened in 1872 in the Silesian Ostrava district of the city. In 1904 the ‘Industrie und Gewerbe Museum’ was opened in Moravian Ostrava, supported by the German-speaking leaders of the city. In the same year, the Czech Museum of Industry and Trade was established in Ostrava. After the First World War, all three museums were merged, and 4 October, 1931 saw the opening ceremony of the new museum in one of Ostrava’s oldest buildings, the original Old City Hall on Masaryk Square – where the museum remains to this day.

At the end of April 2005, a 22-bell chime was installed in the belfry tower of the Ostrava City Museum. The bells, cast in bronze, are of various sizes and range from 5 kg to 200 kg in weight. Each bell has its own name. The largest is called City in Motion, while the others are named after important figures who have contributed to Ostrava’s history and development. Two of the bells commemorate the bishops Bruno and Stanislav, while the other 19 bear the first names of the mayors of Ostrava.