Zizkov Tower: World’s second ugliest structure
In the Bohemian capital city of Prague, amid a sea of historic charm, an unsightly landmark stains the horizon like a blob of ink. The Zizkov Television Tower, affectionately known as the “second ugliest building in the world” (first is the Morris A. Mechanic Theater in Baltimore, Maryland), was built during the communist regime. As you can imagine, it was not well received by the locals. The Zizkov Tower consistently ranks as one of the ugliest buildings in the world. However, while the tower may be an unsightly impediment to an otherwise stunning skyline, it does has its appeal.
Perspective is an interesting phenomenon. The Zizkov is the tallest structure in the Czech Republic and towers above the city of Prague at 709’. While the Tower itself may be unsightly, it does afford visitors (who are inside the structure) an awe-inspiring view of the historic city below, while being shielded from the ugliness that dots the skyline with its obtrusive stature and design.
Visitors to the Tower can simply enjoy the observatory for 180 CZK (about $9). Or, they can indulge in a fine-dining meal. From my experience, restaurants with a view often lack in quality, but that’s not the case with Oblaca Restaurant—the restaurant matches its modern cuisine with the beautiful metropolis view. Their philosophy is to use the best local ingredients for seasonal dishes that are both local, as well as international-inspired. The Oblaca has to be one of the most romantic and impressive dining experiences in Prague. Gastronomic enthusiast will be impressed, while romantics will rejoice.
For $1200, those who really want to impress the one they love, can simply walk up a flight of stairs from the restaurant and stay the night in one of the most romantic suites in all of Prague. This single 1-room hotel offers luxurious ambiance amplified by a very unique panorama of Prague. Guests will feel like they are in the world’s tallest tree-house, relaxing in designer furniture and its spa-like bathroom. I can only imagine waking to the sunrise view, it must leave an impression that time would never erase.
In an attempt to beautify the Zizkov Tower, leaders commissioned famed artist David Cerny in 2000 to install babies crawling up and down the tower’s pillars. The crawling rug rats can also be seen near the Charles Bridge, guarding the entrance to the Kampa Museum on Kampa Island. These crawling, Lynchian creatures, with imploded slot-machine faces, are part of Cerny’s “Babies” project–a commission to make the notoriously ugly Zizkov Television Tower more attractive. Personally, I’m not sure they succeeded, but it does make for some interesting photos to post on social media.
Bottom line: While the Zizkov Tower may be obtrusive to the Prague skyline, even a bit weird given the crawling baby sculptures, there is no denying the fantastic views, fabulous food and hip ambiance. If you want to impress the one you love, the dining experience with the lodging option will surely do the trick.
If you’ve ever visited the Zizkov Television Tower in Prague, please leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.
Zizkov Tower Contact Information:
Website: TowerPark.cz/enOBLACA RESTAURANT
ONE ROOM HOTEL