Petrin Hill and the Petrin Lookout Tower

Petrin Hill is one of the most searched place in the middle of Prague. It offers both the view all around Prague and the observation tower. A bid advantage that tourist mostly appreciate is the Prague Castle in the neighborhood. Petřín Hill is a place with many interesting sights you should visit. But first, let´s have a look at the history of this picturesque site.

The name Petřín refers to stones and rocks that cover the hill (petrae, the word is from Latin). In Romanesque period the first quarries were built here. A stone called opuka was used for building a big amount of houses in Prague. There used to be a significant gallows either, where many people were executed. After building the Hunger Wall, the gallows was cancelled. Then Charles IV commanded to move some craftsmen to Petřín, especially those, whose work was too disturbing. In Renaissance (and during Rudolf II´s reign) the hill was a perfect place mostly for walks and trips, which meant Petřín was planted with trees and decorative bushes.

Other changes were made when Petřín became a shelter for troops too often – fortifications had to be built here instead of parks because Petřín was threatened. And finally, after all the troubles, many parks with statues could have been built. The idea of constructing the Petřín Observation Tower itself came in 1889, when a tour of Czech Tourist Club to Paris was held. They were so fascinated by the Eiffel Tower that they wanted to have one similar back in the Czech Republic. After choosing the Petřín hill as the best location, building was launched in March, 1891. According to chief engineer František Prášil´s project and engineer Julius Souček, the iron construction was made in four days and then moved on the top of the Petřín Hill. The tower was completed in less than four months, on the 2nd July 1891 exactly. Inauguration was held on the 20th August

The tower is 62,5m high and you can get to the top either on foot (299 steps) or with an elevator. You can see all Prague and its beautiful buildings from there. There is also a cabin car, which leads from the bottom of the hill and ends under the tower (it goes in both directions). If you want to have fun, you can visit the Mirror Maze, which is located next to the tower, or the Observatory.

At the bottom of the hill you can see the Monument to the victims of communism. It was made by the Czech sculptor Olbram Zoubek and commemorates the victims of communism. It consists of a group of bronze figures that represent the prisoners of this dark period of our history. They were unveiled on the 20th May 2002.