Prague is also known as "The Golden City of a Hundred Spires." You may think this is a dramatic exaggeration. But stand on Petrin Hill or in front of Prague Castle and count for yourself. The television tower is perhaps easiest to spot, and so is Tyn Church on Old Town Square. This church has two main towers and lots of spires and pinnacles. Should these be counted as one, or as separate towers?
Zizkove Television Tower dominates Prague's skyline. — Photo courtesy of Marianne Crone
Prague municipality wants to keep up its reputation, and so they placed 100 webcams throughout the city, one on each tower. Check for yourself the number of spires listed on their website Hundred-spired Prague, where you can enjoy panoramic views taken from the top of each place listed.
True to say, 63 of these tall structures are church towers and spires. The others belong to the National Museum, the main Railway Station or Troja Castles and many more prominent buildings. There are also several Water Towers, which pump up water from the Vltava River and deliver it to the various Prague districts. There are nine towers in the Mala Strana district and 17 in the Old Town District.
A landmark on the Prague skyline is the Zizkov Television Tower. With a height of 216 meters, it is by far the tallest of the Prague towers and the most controversial. Its construction started in 1985 during the communist regime. Its aim was to jam western radio and television transmissions.
It never did, because the construction was finished only in 1992, three years after the Fall of Communism. As some people consider it the ugliest tower of Prague, Czech artist David Cerny designed faceless babies that crawl up the mast to brighten up the building.
One of the best ways to enjoy Prague is by climbing one of the towers for a bird's-eye view of the city. Your first choice should be 43-meter Old Town Bridge Tower with a gateway leading to Charles Bridge. Climb to the top and watch the swarm of people beneath you on the bridge.
A bird's-eye view of Old Town Square — Photo courtesy of Marianne Crone
If you have enough energy left, climb up the tower of the Old Town Hall on Old Town Square. It is 59 meters high, and from the top, the view is spectacular, especially when Easter or Christmas markets are in full swing down below.
If you want to climb only one tower, let it be Petrin Tower on Petrin Hill. This look-alike Eiffel Tower was built in 1891 on the occasion of the Prague Jubilee Exhibition. The tower itself is only 60 meters in height, but when you add to this the hill on which it is built, it's a total of 324 meters, exactly the same as its big brother in Paris.
On a clear day, you can see as far Snezska, Czech Republic's highest mountain. When you have counted all the towers from this viewpoint, take the funicular railway from the top of Petrin Hill back down to street level.