Secret cable car to end service

The retro-style red cable car in Smíchov will be replaced after 20 years

One of Prague's hidden tourist attractions will stop and the end of this year. The cable car at the NH Prague City Hotel in Smíchov became popular recently when it was mentioned in guidebooks and on a video by Janek Rubeš, the Honest Guide (see below), as a place to do something special and get away from crowds of tourists at the same time.

The cable car goes from the hotel up to a hilltop restaurant and Mrázovka Park and is free. The cable car and the hill offer a good view of the city. The cable car's style is something unusual, like a large red phone booth, and it looks like something from the 1960s rather than the 1990s.

It is much smaller than the one going up Petřín Hill or the one in Prague Zoo. And even many local residents seem not to know about it. The park has two playgrounds, and the lift is popular with parents and children.

On the one-minute trip, people can see the villa where popstar Karel Gott lives, according to the tabloid Blesk.

The Smíchov cable car will make its last trip at the end of December. It can take about 12 people at once and is able to transport up to 180 people in an hour. It was built in 1996, but it did not come to the attention of the residents of Prague 5 until 2006 when the whole Mrázovka Park was renovated, the tabloid Blesk said.

“The cable car has already crossed its lifespan. It has had 20 years of operation and more than 4 million journeys. Unfortunately, it will end on Jan. 1 and the Swiss company will install a new sloping elevator instead,” hotel director Petr Nešpůrek told daily Euro.

All is not lost. The new elevator will still be accessible to the public, according to the director. The new elevator will cost some Kč 1.2 million.

“The elevator will have a different drive … so it will rather be a technical difference that ordinary people might do not even know. However, it will be faster and have a more modern, larger cabin than his existing cable car,” he said. The track will also be replaced.

But if you want to experience the curious retro design of the existing cable car, you have to hurry.

The new service will be running probably by the end of March.

Prague 5 Mayor Pavel Richter (TOP 09) told Blesk he was pleased the investor came to an agreement with the city district so the public could continue to use the lift. “Especially for people who are hiking on the hill, it is very popular and well used, so I hope it will work well after the reconstruction,“ he said.

Video on YouTube

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