Sunday, 8 January 2017

Prague Landmarks #1 - The "Baby" Tower (Žižkov Television Tower)

Over the last two years I've taken about 2,500 photos in and around the city. So I'm going to showcase some of them in my future posts. Each post will focus on a particular landmark or specific photo and I'll write a few accompanying notes about the history, significance and other (hopefully) useful snippets of information. The landmarks won't be in any order - I'm just plucking out photos from my library at random.

My first landmark is the Žižkov Television Tower (Žižkovský vysílač) lovingly referred to as the Baby Tower by my girlfriend (more on that in a moment).

The tower is located in the Žižkov district of the city, which is pretty much due east of the Old Town Square. It was built between 1985 and 1992, stands 709ft (216m) tall, and was designed by architect Václav Aulický and the structural engineer Jiří Kozák. 

The primary functions of the tower are for TV transmission, meteorology, and, most recently, a data centre, but there are sections which are open to the public and afford amazing views of the city both during the day and at night. 

There are a number of fibre glass sculptures of babies crawling up and down around the lower and mid sections of the tower (hence the 'baby tower'). These were designed by the 'alternative' Czech sculptor David Černý and initially mounted in 2000 as a temporary erection but returned permanently in 2001. (David Černý will crop up numerous times in future posts!)

There is also a restaurant and a snack bar (but a bit pricey!). At night the tower is usually illuminated by stunning red, white and blue lights, mimicking the colours of the Czech flag. 

The tower is the tallest building in the Czech Republic, but also used to have the dubious reputation of being the second ugliest building in the world (it now appears to have been relegated to fourth ugliest - the ugliest being the Verizon building in New York or the Ryugyong hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea depending on which list you read).

Personally, I love the building, and it's never far out of view wherever you are in the city. 

If you like this post, please comment on other landmarks you might want me to write about...after all, this is Prague and there are more than a few! 

And there's a pretty good chance I've been there and have some photos!

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