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Petrín Lookout Tower, Prague, Czech Republic

Rising up from atop the leafy Petrín Hill, which forms a backdrop to Malá Strana, the Petrín Lookout Tower was inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris, although it is not a scale model. Built in 1891 for the occasion of the Jubilee Exhibition, the 60-meter-high tower has 299 steps (as well as an elevator) leading up to the top viewing platform.

The Petrín Lookout Tower was built 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 16 March 1891, work began with the help of engineers Frantisek Prásil and Julius Soucek. It opened on 20 August of the same year.

The heart of the lookout tower is an octagonal tube structure, which contains the elevator. Two spiral staircases wind around this – one for the journey up and the other for the way down. The lookout tower has two observation decks. The upper deck is at a height of 55 metres. In the 1960s, antennae were installed at the top of the tower for television and radio broadcasts. The lookout tower was closed to the public in 1979 because of its poor state of repair. In March 2002, the Tower was opened again to the public after a wide reconstruction.

The tower is accessible either by walking up the steep paths of Petrín Hill or by taking the funicular that runs from Újezd.

Information courtesy of praguewelcome.cz

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