The Petrin Observation Tower
from 24. 7. 2014
The permanent exhibition in the basement of the Petřín Observation Tower helps visitors visualize how Petřín Hill has changed over the past centuries. Many historic depictions reveal the views of this landmark towering above historic Prague that citizens admired in the 17th century or around 1800. Contemporary and historic photographs, drawings, and maps introduce the bygone era and the almost forgotten phenomenon – surface and underground quarrying on Petřín Hill.
The lively building and social bustle on Petřín Hill at the end of the 19th century is described in the exhibition section dedicated to the original concept of the observation tower, the circumstances leading to its construction, the manner of its construction, and the key role of the Czech Tourist Club whose members capitalized on the atmosphere and possibilities of the time, and inspired by modern Paris, implemented the bold idea of the extensive transformation of Petřín Hill.
The exhibition is conceived as a series of walks, allowing the visitor to explore Petřín Hill in various times and directions. Transportation enthusiasts may learn about the original specific funicular while newspaper readers may study the legendary prophetic column An Observation Tower on Petřín Hill – the picture of Prague’s near future by Vilém Kurz, which was published in January 1890. Visitors will see historic photographs and maps which portray views from the renowned Nebozízek Restaurant at the time of the First Czechoslovak Republic and the imaginary climb up the Petřín slope for refreshments prior to the funicular construction. Historic maps reveal the paths along which the first visitors hiked to the observation tower, and the historic garment on display gives an idea of the fashion style and accessories of Prague residents and tourists in the last decades of the “long” 19th century.