Žižkov Television Tower

Coordinates: 50°04′51″N 14°27′05″E / 50.08083°N 14.45139°E / 50.08083; 14.45139
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Žižkov Television Tower
Žižkov TV Tower from the city centre
General information
Architectural styleStructural expressionism
LocationPrague, Czech Republic
Coordinates50°04′51″N 14°27′05″E / 50.08083°N 14.45139°E / 50.08083; 14.45139
Construction started1985
Antenna spire216 metres
Design and construction
Architect(s)Václav Aulický
Structural engineerJiří Kozák

The Žižkov Television Tower (Czech: Žižkovský vysílač) is a transmitter tower built in Prague between 1985 and 1992. Designed by the architect Václav Aulický and the structural engineer Jiří Kozák,[1] 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 tower is an example of high-tech architecture.


The tower close up
TV Tower in Žižkov

The structure of the tower is unconventional, based on a triangle whose corners go 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, providing both the necessary height for radio antennas and the structure's rocket and gantry appearance. In its time it was a unique technology, which authors have patented.[citation needed]

The tower stands 216 metres (709 feet) high, with the observatory at 93 metres, the hotel room at 70 metres, restaurants (with a capacity of 180 people) at 66 metres. Three elevators transport passengers at a speed of 4 m/s.[2]

Three of the pods, positioned directly beneath the decks at the top, are used for equipment and are inaccessible to the public. The remaining six pods are open to visitors, 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 restaurant and café bar.

Construction of the tower cost $19 million. It weighs 11,800 tonnes and is also used as a meteorological observatory. It is a member of the World Federation of Great Towers.[3]


The tower received a spate of nicknames, mostly alluding to its rocket-like shape, like "Baikonur", after the Soviet cosmodrome or "Jakeš's finger" ("Jakešův prst"), after the then-Secretary General of the Czechoslovak Communist Party. In 2009, Australian website Virtualtourist.com called Žižkov TV Tower the second ugliest building in the world, behind the Morris A. Mechanic Theatre in Baltimore.[4] Since the Morris A. Mechanic Theatre was demolished in 2014,[5] the Žižkov TV Tower is currently the ugliest building in the world according to that list. On the other hand, the crawling Babies (together with the statue Piss by the same author) were published by The Guardian in 2007 as the greatest attraction of Prague.[6] More recently, the tower's reputation among Czechs has improved.[7]

Although official criticism during the time of its construction was impossible, the tower was lambasted unofficially for its 'megalomania', its 'jarring' effect on the Prague skyline and for destroying part of a centuries-old Jewish cemetery situated at the tower's foundations.[citation needed] The tower's foundation was simply dug up through the layer of the cemetery, tombstones were crushed by heavy equipment and the bones were carried away to landfill.[8]

Last changes[edit]

Detail of "Babies" on the tower
The tower at night

David Černý sculptures[edit]

In 2000, ten fiberglass sculptures by Czech artist David Černý called "Miminka" (Babies), crawling up and down were temporarily attached to the tower's pillars. The sculptures were admired by many and were returned in 2001 as a permanent installation. Another three Babies, made from bronze, can be found in Prague's Kampa Park.

For cleaning and structural checks, these Babies were removed from the tower in 2017.[9] After examination of the condition of the sculptures was made a decision to replace them with identical duplicates, which were installed on their original positions in 2019. The original Babies were returned to David Černý.[10]


Since 2006, to mark the 125th anniversary of the elevation of Žižkov into a city and the 15th anniversary of the commissioning of the transmitter, the transmitter is illuminated in different colors every evening, usually in the colors of the state tricolor.[11]

České Radiokomunikace TOWER Datacenter[edit]

After switching to digital TV broadcasting and removing the old analogue broadcast equipment, the owner decided to use the free space for a new colocation datacenter.[12]

Luxury Room[edit]

On 13 February 2013 a luxury one room hotel was added to the tower. The room sits upstairs from the reopened restaurant and a spiral staircase provides private access. Inside the room is a large bed and a free standing bathtub from where the guest can view the city.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Žižkovská televizní věž". Praguerocket.com. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  2. ^ "Žižkov Tower". Tower park.
  3. ^ "The World Federation of Great Towers".
  4. ^ "Žižkovská věž je druhou nejošklivější stavbou světa". ČT24. 20 November 2009. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  5. ^ Litten, Kevin (30 April 2014). "Baltimore issues demolition permit for the Mechanic Theatre". Baltimore Business Journal. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  6. ^ "To je Top 10 lákadel Prahy podle Guardianu". Aktuálně.cz (in Czech). 25 October 2007.
  7. ^ 24. listopadu 2005. "Žižkovský vysílač po 20 letech už nepobuřuje". iDNES.cz. Czech Republic: Mladá fronta DNES. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  8. ^ "Kvůli žižkovské televizní věži byl zničen židovský hřbitov" (in Czech). Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  9. ^ "Czech TV tower loses its babies". BBC.
  10. ^ "Horolezci instalují na žižkovskou věž miminka, vrací je tam po dvou letech" (in Czech).
  11. ^ "České radiokomunikace věnují Pražanům stálé slavnostní osvětlení žižkovské věže" (in Czech).
  12. ^ "Služby datového centra – České Radiokomunikace". radiokomunikace.cz. Retrieved 13 June 2012.
  13. ^ "Ugly Prague tower adds beautiful view with hotel room". Yahoo. 27 March 2013.

External links[edit]