Petřín Lookout Tower

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Petřín Lookout Tower

The Petřín Lookout Tower (Petřínská rozhledna in Czech) stands at the top of the Petřín hill above the centre of Prague on the left bank of Vltava.

The World Exhibition took place in Paris in 1889. Its major attraction became the very constructed Eiffel Tower. Members of the Czech Tourists Club, who visited this exhibition, were fascinated by the tower’s beauty and therefore decided to build its imitation in Prague. A Society of the lookout tower on Petrin hill was founded and its constitutive meeting was held on 28th April 1890. The tower supposed to be several times smaller then the original, about 70 m. This fact should be however generously compensated by the chosen location. Completion of the construction was planned for the 1891 year, when the Jubilee Exhibition was held in Prague. Indeed that year on 2<sup>nd</sup> July a standard flattered on top of the view-tower giving a signal that the iron construction assembly was completed. The tower was ceremoniously opened for public on 20<sup>th</sup> August 1891. The press spared no superlatives in its commentaries and presented all sites visible from the tower on good weather conditions.

Steel construction weighted 174 tons and including the royal crown on its top the tower measured 60 metres. Restaurant was arranged in its ground brick pavilion. The tower’s cabin and its gallery in height of 19 metres as well as the glazed view cabin in height of 51 metres were accessible by a double helix stairway and by a lift bearing max 6 persons. Each stairs had 299 steps and each step was 17 cm high.

From 1953 the lookout tower was used for regular TV broadcast in Prague. System of aerials was installed on top of the tower and other technical equipment was installed inside. Even then the tower was opened for the public. The TV broadcast was ended in 1992 after the TV tower in Žižkov was put into operation. The view-tower on Petrin hill went recently through general reconstruction and is opened for public during tourist season.

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