The Petrin Lookout Tower was inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Its construction was initiated by the Czech Tourist Club, which had attended the Exposition Universelle in 1889 in Paris and decided to construct a similar tower in Prague.
On 16th March 1891 the construction work began in accordance with plans prepared by the engineers František Prášil and Julius Souček. It was finished and formally opened on 20th August of the same year.
The heart of the lookout tower is formed by an octagonal tube structure, which contains an elevator. Two spiral staircases wind around this -- one for the way up and the other for the way down. The lookout tower has two observation decks. The upper deck is located at a height of 55 metres.
The funicular was also established in connection with the completion of the lookout tower. In the 1960s, antennae were installed on the top of the tower for TV-transmition and radio broadcasts.
The lookout tower was closed to the public in 1979 because of its state of disrepair. It was not opened again until May 1991 during the second Jubilee Exhibition.
The tower affords a magnificent view; well worth climbing those 299 steps to reach the observation deck. On a clear day it is possible to see the highest peak of the Czech Republic, Snezka, which is 150km away.
The Observation Tower is set in landscaped gardens that dominate the summit of Petrin Hill; good for a very pleasant walk anytime throughout the year, as well as an excursion from the city centre.
In addition to this, there is an observatory and a small entrance fee will grant access to the Hall of Mirrors.
Much of the stone material used to build the major sights in Prague was quarried out of the Petrin hill. Today, however, this is well hidden beneath the gardens and the trees that line the slopes.
Petrin Hill is 318m or 1043 feet high. To reach the summit and the Observation Tower, take the funicular running up the Petrin Hill from Ujezd street in the Lesser Town (Mala Strana).
Alternatively, catch a taxi or take a 25-30 minutes walk up to Petrin Hill. The climb is fairly steep, but can be very pleasant, passing through gardens as well as an apple orchard.
Once you have enjoyed the fresh air and the views of Petrin, we thoroughly recommend a visit to the Nebozizek Restaurant, located on the hillside, half way down from the summit. This wonderful restaurant offers fine food and excellent views over Prague.
The ABL company offers you a unique view from seven Prague towers including the Petřín observation tower, Tower of St Nicholas Church, Lesser Town Bridge Tower, Mirror Labyrinth, Old Town City Hall, Powder tower and Old Town Bridge tower. You can take a photo with our watchmen, enjoy the swordsman fights or just listen to the fanfare.
The ABL company could arrange for you wedding, birthday party or other anniversaries. For more information look at www.praguetowers.com.