We have been to Petrin Tower twice. We walked up the hill the first time as the funicular tram was out of action but that was not for the unfit. However our second trip was by the... read more
The lookout tower was built for the General Land Centennial Exhibition in...
The lookout tower was built for the General Land Centennial Exhibition in 1891 by the initiative of the founders of Czech Tourist Club: Dr. Vilem Kurz and architect Vratislav Pasovsky.
Having been inspired by the Paris lookout tower designed by engineer Eiffel, Petrin Hill which is 318 m high was chosen for the structure. The construction began on March 16, 1891, according to the initial design of architect Vratislav Pasovsky further elaborated by engineers Frantisek Prasil and Julius Soucek from Czech and Moravia Machine Works (Ceskomoravska strojirna).
The opening ceremony took place on August 20 of the same year. The foundations were laid 11 meters underground to hold the 63.5-metre tall steel construction that weighed 175 tons. An octagonal tube is the core of the structure with the lift surrounded by two spiral staircases with 299 stairs - one for each direction. The entire structure includes bracing elements in the shape of Saint Andrew's crosses. The tower has two lookout landings; the upper one is 55 metres high. The ground floor and basement are situated in a neo-Renaissance building.
At the beginning of July 1938, the top of the tower was damaged by fire, probably caused by a short circuit in the lift cage. The observation tower was a TV transmission tower between 1953 and 1992. Today, it is only used as a lookout tower.