Top of Petřín hill to be renovated

The area near the lookout tower has long been neglected

The area around the Petřín Lookout Tower (Petřínská rozhledna) will be renovated. The project will cost some Kč 19.6 million. Prague City Hall decided last week to select a contractor for the project, which should take a year to complete.

“In my opinion, this is the most neglected part of Petřín park. It has not been changed for decades,” Jana Plamínková, councilor for the environment and infrastructure (STAN), told the media. Near the lookout tower, there will be a sitting area and a paved promenade with new asphalt. Repairs will be made by the chapels.

Originally, the City Council also wanted to change the benches and other urban furniture. Instead, the councilors agreed that the existing ones would be fixed. The city is completing a separate design competition for new benches and wastebaskets. After completing it, the city will offer a contract for the supply of a new furniture that will replace the current pieces in use throughout Prague. This contract will also cover Petřín park.

The city has been looking into benches that provide better security, such as solid ones that can't have packages left underneath them. It has not been disclosed whether that concept will be part of the contract.

The 63.5-meter-tall steel-framework Petřín Lookout Tower resembles the Eiffel Tower but has a six-sided base rather than a square. The tower was built in 1891 with public donations by the Club of Czech Tourists. Members of the club went to Paris in 1889 and were impressed by the Eiffel Tower.

Petřín Lookout Tower was used as an observation tower as well as a transmission tower before the Žižkov Television Tower opened.

The Petřín Lookout Tower can be reached by a funicular. The two observation platforms are accessible via 299 stairs running around the inside of the structure. A pair of staircases forms a double-helix allowing people to go up and down at the same time. There is an elevator for the disabled.

More than half a million people visit the Petřín Lookout Tower each year. The tower was renovated in 1999.

The area around the tower has a mirror maze, the Church of St Lawrence, the Calvary Chapel, the Chapel of the Holy Grave, a trail of Stations of the Cross.

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