Zlín zlēn [key], city (1991 pop. 84,522), E central Czech Republic, in Moravia, on the Dřevnice River. From 1949 to 1993 it was called Gottwaldov in honor of Klement Gottwald , Czechoslovakia's first Communist president. One of the world's largest shoe-manufacturing cities, it is the center of the Czech shoe industry, which was founded in 1913 by Thomas Bata. Under the Bata family, the city grew into an almost self-sufficient factory community. Branches of the Bata shoe company opened throughout the world. Nationalized after World War II and then privatized, the former Bata facilities are no longer associated with the Bata company. Tires and other rubber goods, machinery, and animated films are also produced in Zlín.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Czech Political Geography