The Retirees go Abroad – Prague and the Czech Republic – Farewell to Praha

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The weather is now quite unbearable for two old softies from Nottingham. We decide to beat the weather by going out early to Žižkov Television Tower.

To do this we must learn to navigate the Czech underground tube – the Metro. It turns out to be quite easy and cheap. Well maintained it moved us from the centre of the city to Žižkov effortlessly in under ten minutes. On exiting the metro there was no need to consult a map to find the Tower as it stands over Žižkov like the launch pad of a great rocket.

We were pleasantly surprised on arriving at Žižkov. Not only did we spy the tower but the metro is set in a park with a modern church built in a “cubist” style greeting you.

The Žižkov Television Tower is a unique transmitter tower built in Prague between 1985 and 1992. It stands high above the city’s traditional skyline from its position on top of a hill in the district of Žižkov, from which it takes its name.

The structure of the tower is unconventional, based on a triangle whose corners are growing up in steel columns, consisting of three tubes with a double steel wall, filled with concrete. They support nine ‘pods’ and three decks for transmitting equipment. One of the three pillars extends considerably higher than the others, and this provides both the necessary height for some antennas, along with the structure’s rocket and gantry appearance. In its time it was a unique technology, which authors have patented. In total, the tower stands 216 metres (709 feet) high.

Three of the pods, positioned directly beneath the decks at the top of the tower, are used for equipment related to the tower’s primary function and are inaccessible to the public. The remaining six pods are open to visitors, the highest of which are observation rooms at 100 metres (328 feet), providing a panoramic view of Prague and the surrounding area. The lower three, approximately half-way up the length of the pillars at 63 metres (207 feet), house a recently refurbished restaurant and café bar. Elevators, equipped with speedometers, transport passengers to the different levels at a rate of 4 m/s. The tower weighs 11,800 tons and is also used as a meteorological observatory. It is a member of the World Federation of Great Towers.

It is striking that the Žižkov tower is covered with giant babies crawling on it. The company that manages the tower for a long time had something to add to the building and give both personal and less rigid spice up your architecture. The exhibition of the artist SEJD which was originally to be one year left as a final touch of the tower.

Each of the large baby weighs approximately 800 kilos and the idea came from the Kampa Museum, located nearby in Sovovy Mlyny.

We travelled up to the Observatory and well I will let the pictures speak for themselves. We then went down to the restaurant, café and bar for a spot of indulgence. Whilst Kerry had her pannacota and Kahlua with whipped milk, I had an Americano with a slice of Mango cheese cake topped with a gooseberry and raspberry coulis. Yum oh!

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And here are some panoramic shots of the whole city.

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From here the city did not look all that far and it wasn’t but the day had warmed up and we had to take a break in the park then an iced coffee at the rail station before getting home to await our taxi and our return to Long Eaton.

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