Saturday, July 10, 2010

Žižkov TV Tower

The Žižkov Television Tower was built in Prague between 1985 - 1992. It is a unique part of the Prague skyline. In fact, a lot of residents were against the tower when it was first built.

There are TV towers in several former iron curtain cities. There's one in East Berlin and in "Bratsville" (Bratislava). They were used to jam Radio Free Europe and keep western TV shows out of the communist states. Today, in addition to being used as a meteorological observatory, the tower is used to provide satelite TV and cellular phone service to the city. What a difference a couple of decades make.

The tower is made up of three concrete pillars that support the transmitter cabinets, three observation rooms, a restaurant and a cafe. From a distance, it looks like a rocket launchpad. It weighs 11,800 tons and is 216 meters (709 feet) tall. It's the highest tower in the ČR. The observation decks are 100 meters (328 feet) high and offer great views of the city.

In 2000, crawling baby sculptures were added temporarily to the tower by Czech artist David Černý. The babies were such a hit that they returned in 2001 as permanent fixtures.

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