Prague Towers (11) – Žižkov TV Tower

vys_01

Žižkov Tower from bellow

Žižkov’s TV tower is the highest building in Prague. It is 707 ft (216 m) high and it was built in 1985 – 1992 according to the design of architect Václav Aulický. You can find it on the Prague horizon from almost any view point 🙂 and when you go for visit, it is located at the border of Prague quarters Žižkov and Vinohrady. Construction consists of 3 cylinder steel tubes, together they reach the height 440 ft (134 m). The main tube with two fast lifts continues as an aerial that is 707 ft high.

Tubes carry three cabins each. There is a restaurant at the height 217 ft (66 m) and view point at 93 ft (305 m). The highest cabin is the broadcaster for 11 TV and 8 radio programmes.

vys_04

View around, don’t miss Prague Castle on top right shot

Building of the tower brought lot of disputations, because of the proximity to Jewish cemetery and the threat of etherial burden of its surroundings, but special committee approved the construction. The technical solution of construction brought few new technologies and patents. Except the broadcast you can find there the transmitters for phone operators and the quality of Prague air is measured there.

vys_05

At the view and going up with the lift

Babies, the art work of David Černý, were added to the tower in 2000, movie scenes from some Czech movies were shoot here.

vys_03

The golden line in the middle is the bridge over Nusle valley

Žižkov tower is the second most ugly construction in the world according to VirtualTourist.com (the first one is Baltimore Theatre), but inhabitants of Prague got used to the tower and according to my own opinion and experience, we like it :-).

vys_02

Enjoyable stay at the coffee with a view

Tower was reconstructed in 2011 – 2012, you can find a luxurious hotel suite there with a beautiful view. Changes were done also to the surrounding area and I recommend the visit of the tower.

vys_06

Plečnik Sacre Coer church top left, jewish cemetery bottom right, and many others roofs and views from the tower

The whole series to be found here

1 Introduction
2 Bell Tower of St. Vitus Cathedral
3 Petřín Watchtower
4 St. Nicholas Bellfry
5 Little Quarter’s Bridge Tower
6 Old Town’s Bridge Tower
7 Astronomical Klementinum Tower
8 Tower of the Old Town Townhall
9 Powder Tower
10 St. Henry’s Tower
11 Žižkov Tower

LOGO_PragueTowersS_KOI

Advertisements

Prague Towers (10) – St. Henry’s Tower

_Prague_St.Henry

Top of the spire on the St. Henry tower

St. Henry’s tower is the highest standalone bellfry in Prague. It is 213 ft (65.7 m) high and you don’t have to climb it, as there is a lift inside the tower. The tower was originally built as a bellfry for the church of St. Henry (Jindřich in Czech) and St. Kunhuta in gothic style in 1472-1476.  It was built from sandstone with wooden and shale roof. The tower served as a guarding tower in 1648, when Prague was attacked by Swedish army at the end of 30 years war and it was badly damaged by it, next damage was done in 1757 by Prussian army and in 1801 big storm ruined the narrow spire.

_Prague_St.Henry_view_Jindriska

View to Jindřišská (Henry’s) street, direction Wenceslass Square

_Prague_St.Henry_view

From top left: National Museum at the horizon, Main Train station, small garden hidden between buildings, Prague roofs

Therefore in 1876-1879 there was a big neogothic reconstruction done by Josef Mocker. Even bigger changes were done at the beginning of the 3rd millenium (around 2001), when challenging project was realised.

_Prague_castle

View to Prague Castle and the Old Town

Now the tower is used as a multifunctional object, there is a museum, restaurant, bar, whiskeria, small music hall. All the changes had to be done without a harm to the old building. Thus the new tower was built inside the old case, in the space of 22 ft x 28 ft (6.7 m x 8.5 m), with 12 floors (one underground), lift and stairs in the middle.

_Prague_St.Henry_view2

From top left: Senovážné square, old gutter, pink building, Czech National Bank in the middle, above it is a Powder Tower

The oldest bell in the tower is Maria from 1518, the biggest is Henry from 1680, the newest is Dominik from 1850. New glockenspiel was placed in the tower attic in 2003, done by master Manoušek in cooperation with dutch bell company Royal Eijbouts.

_Prague_St.Henry_attic

Original roof attic from 19 century, now used as a small concert hall

Next time we won’t climb the stairs again, we will take a lift to the hight TV tower at the horizon, as seen from St. Henry’s Tower:

Tower in Prague view

Direction Žižkov

The whole series to be found here

1 Introduction
2 Bell Tower of St. Vitus Cathedral
3 Petřín Watchtower
4 St. Nicholas Bellfry
5 Little Quarter’s Bridge Tower
6 Old Town’s Bridge Tower
7 Astronomical Klementinum Tower
8 Tower of the Old Town Townhall
9 Powder Tower
10 St. Henry’s Tower

LOGO_PragueTowersS_KOI

Prague Towers (9) – Powder Tower

Powder Tower – in Czech we call it Prašná brána (= Powder Gate) – stands at the entrance to the Prague Old Town, next to the famouse Art Nouveau Municipal house.

Powder tower Prague

Powder Tower viewed from the New Town, from the Old Town and the statue of its architect Matěj Rejsek

There also starts so called Royal Road because King’s corronation parade started here. Formerly, the Royal Palace was at the place where you find Municipal House in 14-15 centuries. King preferred to live in the city center more than in the Prague Castle. Therefore, the Old Town Municipality decided to build here a new tower in 1475 to show the safety of the Old Town and to have an opposite to the imposing Old Town Bridge Tower on the other side of the town. They named the tower New, its bases were 30 ft (9 m) bellow the current level of the ground and it was 138 ft (42 m) high. The architect was Matyáš Rejsek, now you can see his status looking at the tower from the corner of Municipal House. Unfortunatelly for the tower, due to the riots on the streets king Vladislaus II Jagiellon found out that it would be much safer to live in Prague Castle and he left the Royal Palace. As a result you can find beautiful Jagiellonian Hall at Prague Castle. The architect left as well, Matyáš Rejsek went to Kutná Hora and he built there a beautiful gothic cathedral of St. Barbora.

Powder Tower in Prague

Interiers, stairs and stained glass windows, specially impressive when sun shines

Thus, the tower at the Old Town was not finished and it was used as the warehouse of the gun powder and got its current name Powder Gate. In 18th century it was badly destroyed by prussian army and lost its beautiful decorations. Today’s appearance it received in 1878-1886 in pseudogothic puristic recontruction done by Josef Mocker (as St. Vitus Cathedral, Karlštejn and a lot of other gothic buildings in Prague and its surrounding). Old Town Tower bridge was again used as the source for the decoration style and the tower received new “boaster” tower so typical for Mocker’s reconstruction.

Power tower Prague

Views from the tower, direction Prague Castle, roofs of Celetna street, Golden Eagle roof with pigeons, roofs of Municipal house

Tower is 213 ft (65 m) high, the view platform is in 144 ft (44 m) and you have to climb 186 stairs to reach it. In fact I consider this tower to be the most “difficult” for climbing, specially due to the narrow stairway at the bottom of it. The lowest part is the worst, when you climb up, it gets better and safer.

Municipal House in Prague

Details on the roof of Municipal house

Prague

Personal note: windows of my first office at the second floor at the top shot, bottom shot street leads to the place where I live

Our next tower is St- Henry’s Tower, highest standalone belltower in Prague, as seen from the Powder Tower:

Jindřišská věž

St. Henry tower dwarfs the roofs of Czech National Bank, out next topic for Prague Towers

The whole series to be found here

1 Introduction
2 Bell Tower of St. Vitus Cathedral
3 Petřín Watchtower
4 St. Nicholas Bellfry
5 Little Quarter’s Bridge Tower
6 Old Town’s Bridge Tower
7 Astronomical Klementinum Tower
8 Tower of the Old Town Townhall
9 Powder Tower

LOGO_PragueTowersS_KOI

Prague Towers (8) – Old Town Townhall Tower

SRT05

Tower from the Old Town Square

Today we are back at the tower, about which I already wrote here, this tower is one of the most important ones and the view from its top is incredible. The tower was built in 14th century in gothic style, with a beautiful chapel and an astronomical clock, done by Mikuláš from Kadaň and later reworked by Mr. Hanuš. If you are an astronom, you can enjoy all the “measurements” that astronomical clock (“orloj” in Czech) offers.
In this post I want to show you the tower from the bottom to the top, so let’s start under the tower, where you can find a unique sewage system. There is sewage nodal point 7 metres bellow the ground, where 3 lines join into one. Unfortunatelly, this underground is opened only on special days, but when you buy the ticket for the tower, the entrance is exactly there, behind pannels.

SRT03

Old sewage system

On the left side from the Astronomical clock there is a beautiful gothic portal and the hall behind it is decorated with colorful mosaics showing the glory of Prague. That’s the hall which is most often used as the exit from the tower and town hall complex.

SRT04

Mosaics

The entrance to the tower is from the tourist information center, red building on the right side from the astronomical clock, whilst the ticket office is in the small door on the right side from the clock. You follow the arrows, then you can take a first lift, going up just 2 floors and then you go to the tower, inside of which is another lift (check my post here), this one goes through the tower to the top of it.

The best time for the visit is a quarter to the full hour, when most of the tourists are waiting down for Orloj show. After the show they are going up and the place can be really crowdy. The tower is 69.5 m (228 ft) high and it doesn’t have stairs, just a ramp which you can climb in case you don’t want to take a lift.

SRT06

View to Petřín hill, how many towers I wrote about are on this shot?

SRT07

Prague Castle and church of Our Lady in front of the Tyn at the Old Town square

SRT08

St. Nicholas at the Old Town and Pařížská (Parisien) street, the most posh street in Prague

SRT09

St. Nicholas and Prague castle by night

SRT02

Direction south by day and by night, don’t miss the beautiful terrace restaurant at the roofs, brilliant view from there (Hotel U Prince)

Our next tower is Powder Tower, the entrance to the Prague Old Town:

SRT01

Direction – Powder Tower (the dark one)

The whole series to be found here

1 Introduction
2 Bell Tower of St. Vitus Cathedral
3 Petřín Watchtower
4 St. Nicholas Bellfry
5 Little Quarter’s Bridge Tower
6 Old Town’s Bridge Tower
7 Astronomical Klementinum Tower
8 Tower of the Old Town Townhall
9 Powder Tower

LOGO_PragueTowersS_KOI

Prague Towers (7) – Astronomical Tower Klementinum

AK_02

Klementinum astronomical tower from the yard

Not far from our previous tower (Old Town Tower Bridge) you find a large complex called Klementinum. Klementinum, built on area of 2 hectares, is one of the largest building complexes in Europe. It was built like a jesuit college in 1653-1726 and now it is the seat of Natinal Library. A dominant feature of Klementinum is Astronomical Tower, earlier known as Mathematical Tower. The tower was built in 1722, but due to problems it had to be rebuilt, which lasted another 28 years.

AK_03

Organs in Mirror Chapel, astronomical equipment at the tower and the tower balcony

AK_09

Atlas at the top of the tower

In the courtyard of Klementinum there is standing a monument in honor of Josef Stepling (1716-1778), mathematician, physician and astronomer. He had an imperishable merit for the tower reconstruction and in particular for equipping it with astronomial instruments. In 1891-1911 so called Prague midday used to be signalled by cannonade. With help of the unique crexicular solar clock and the time-measuring instruments the man in tower found the actual time and then he walked onto the gallery at 12 o’clock and sent a signal with flag. The cannoneers, prepared on Mariánské walls, fired out.

AK_06

View to the Old Town Square direction with Prague New Townhall

The tower is 68 meters high and on the top of it stands the statue of Atlas bearing the Earth, with a symbol of God’s eye.

AK_04

Prague Castle and Petřín Hill views

AK_08

Views to all directions

To visit the tower you have to buy the ticket for all Baroque interiors of Klementinum, but it is worth seeing. The other attractions are beautiful Mirror Chapel with an in-wrought interior with unique built in mirrors that can not be seen anywhere else and the Baroque Library hall with splendid fresco paintings on the ceiling and a few historically rare big globes.

AK_07

South east view, clam-Gallas palace middle left

AK_05

Klementinum courtyard and the stairs at the tower

Our next tower is in the middle of the shot – the tower of the Old Town Townhall:

AK_01

Roofs of the Old Town

The whole series to be found here

1 Introduction
2 Bell Tower of St. Vitus Cathedral
3 Petřín Watchtower
4 St. Nicholas Bellfry
5 Little Quarter’s Bridge Tower
6 Old Town’s Bridge Tower
7 Astronomical Klementinum Tower
8 Tower of the Old Town Townhall
9 Powder Tower

LOGO_PragueTowersS_KOI

Prague Towers (6) – Old Town Bridge Tower

View to the Old Town Prague roofs, read more at praguebykaty.wordpress.com

Old Town Bridge Tower from the Charles bridge

Old Town bridge tower was built at the same time as the Charles bridge (second half of 14th century) by the work-shop of Petr Parléř, the most important builder in gothic Prague. About hundred masons worked on it during its building. Recontructions were done in 17th and 19 centuries, also changes were done in 50s an 70s of the 20th century.

From 1621-1631 the tower served also as a display for 12 heads of leaders of estate revolt, who were executed at the Old Town Square. One night they were taken down and burried at the unknown place. The tower was sorely spoiled at the end of 30 years war in 1648 by Swedish Army, all the decoration from western side (from the bridge) are gone. There used to be statues of Madonna, Charles IV and his wife. Two oracular writings were found during one of the recontructions, they are in latin and readable in the same way from back as from the beginning: “Signate, signate, mere me tangis et angis” and “Roma, tibi subito motibus ibit amor” (palindromes). They have no easy meaning (and therefore I am not able to translate them to English), but the magic formulae of power and might is hidden in them. They are spells to protect the tower.

OT_09

King fisher in knotted-towel, sign of spa-guild, symbol of Wenceslas IV (son of Charles IV), also symbol of pure soul, can protect from lightning, multiples treasuries and calms the storm

OT_04

Look up when standing under tower, king’s crown and more king-fishers

The ground part of the tower – up to the size of “the man on the horse” – belongs to the carnal life.

OT_02

The entrance to the tower and Prague castle view

The next belt belongs to moon, above the gate there are coats of arms of the lands under Charles IV rule. The most important ones are in the middle, a black eagle in the gold field (roman emperor) and a silver double-tailed lion in red field (Czech king).

Right above is the next belt – the sun one. St. Vitus, patron of the bridge, is in the middle and by his sides are Charles IV and Wenceslas IV, arched over with triangle decorated by 24 crabs, symbols of 24 hours. Both rulers are coronated with emperor’s crown. Above them are St. Vojtěch and St. Zikmund. The statues were made in 1380-1400, but now you can find here sandstone copies from 2006.

OT_03

Tower interior ceilings, scultpure at the tower as viewed from Křižovnické náměstí

You have to climb 138 stairs to reach the view platform. The height of the tower is 154 ft (47 m) above bridge level and 187 ft (57 m) above Vltava river level.

OT_06

Views to the bridge and Prague Castle from the tower

OT_07

River view

OT_08

Direction Old Town

The roof of the tower was originally covered by polished gold, the gold covered also the cloaks of the statues. It nicely corresponded with the St. Vitus cathedral at Prague Castle, whose roof was covered with gold as well. The roof is made of shale now. The symbolic and spectacular decorations served to show the triumph of Luxembourg family, and they also had cosmologic and astronomical importancy at the date of tower origin.

There is one special Mystery of solstice. Every year at the solstice at the noon the shadow of the lion covers the coat of arms with the eagle. It happens only this one day of the year.
And when you stand at the former saint Vitus day at the bottom of the tower and you look at the sunset above Prague castle, the Sun shows you exactly the place where the remains of St. Vitus are buried in St. Vitus cathedral.

The next tower is Astronomical Tower of Klementinum, here as seen from the Old Town Bridge Tower.

OT_01

Astronomical Tower of Klementinum is the second one from left with statue of Atlas holding the globe on the top

The whole series to be found here

1 Introduction
2 Bell Tower of St. Vitus Cathedral
3 Petřín Watchtower
4 St. Nicholas Bellfry
5 Little Quarter’s Bridge Tower
6 Old Town’s Bridge Tower
7 Astronomical Klementinum Tower
8 Tower of the Old Town Townhall
9 Powder Tower

LOGO_PragueTowersS_KOI

Prague Towers (5) – Little Quarter Bridge Tower

MS_brtow_3

Smaller and higher Tower Bridges in Little Quarter side from Charles Bridge

Our last tower on the left bank of the Vltava River is the Bridge Tower in Little Quarter. There are two of them, smaller and older one, you can read about it at Prague Towers (1) and the higher one for today’s post. Originally at this place another small romanesque tower stood there to be in pair with the existing one belonging to romanesque Judith’s bridge, which fall down in 14th century. After Charles bridge was built (1357 – 1407) a new gothic tower started to be built at this place, it was finished after 1464. The tower was built as a copy of the Old Town Tower Bridge (our next post), but less decorative, less symbolic. The last reconstruction was done in 1879-83 by architect Josef Mocker.

MS_brtow_8

Traditional view to Prague Castle and St. Nicholas Church from the tower

Both towers are connected by the gothic gate with a spirelet decorated with the following coats of arms: Empire’s Eagl, Czech Lion and the sign of Upper Lusatia, bellow are the symbols of the Old Town and the Little Quarter.

MS_brtow_12

Gate with symbols

Bridge towers were often used as a display and warning, therefore in 1517 there was shown the head of robber knight Jindřich from Bohnice, who was executed. But now you won’t find it there :-). The height of the tower is 143 ft (43.5 m) and you have to climb 146 stairs to reach the view.

MS_brtow_11

Charles Bridge and Prague roofs

MS_brtow_7

Vltava bridges, south from Charles Bridge, towers on Vyšehrad at the left

MS_brtow_10

Walk on the top of the gate and the window in the tower

After the visit to the Bridge Towers I recommend you to visit Café Kafíčko, cafe with the best coffee in Prague, nearby in Míšeňská 10 street. Looking down from the tower you see the small square and Čertovka Channel with a small bridge. But you won’t go there.

MS_brtow_5

Čertovka Channel and small bridge over it, Charles Bridge at the right side

You should go to the left, there is another small square with green gas lamp-post (kandelábr) and looking at the building on the next shot you go right to Míšeňská street to the cafe.

MS_brtow_4

Ministery of finance is on the left side, school building in the middle, Míšeňská street going to the right

The interior is cozy and the coffe is indeed the best in Prague, you can also try some nice sweets there. When you are there, take a look at the people in the cafe, you might find me :-).

MS_brtow_9

Cafe Kafíčko interier, delicious plum cake and the best coffee in Prague

The next tower is Old Town’s Bridge Tower, here as seen from the Little Quarter Bridge Tower.

MS_brtow_1

Old Town’s Bridge Tower

The whole series to be found here

1 Introduction
2 Bell Tower of St. Vitus Cathedral
3 Petřín Watchtower
4 St. Nicholas Bellfry
5 Little Quarter’s Bridge Tower
6 Old Town’s Bridge Tower
7 Astronomical Klementinum Tower
8 Tower of the Old Town Townhall
9 Powder Tower

LOGO_PragueTowersS_KOI

Previous Older Entries

To Rave About

Live the Life of Your Dreams

Quilts, Cats and Me

The crafts that I love, cats and travel

Tori's Adventure

Life living abroad in Al Ain, UAE

Katja's Photography

It's the little things that create beauty ...

Jan Flieger Photography

Photography blog with passion for vintage lenses.

therookiexpat

Recent college grad exploring life abroad while teaching English

Cowboy in Prague

Cowboy's adventures in Prague

The Prague Days of Summer

Shaina Bowen's Czech Republic Adventures