Television Tower at Žižkov, Prague, Czech Republic

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Television Tower at Žižkov, Prague, Czech Republic (Televizní Vysílač Praha)

The TV and Radio Tower at Žižkov in Prague dominates the skyline with a height of 216 m (474 m above sea level). It was designed during the Communist era with initial work in 1978 and construction started in 1985. It was not completed and in operation until 1992, and TV transmission from the Petrin tower ceased at that time (having been used for TV since the start of TV broadcast transmission in Czechoslovakia).

In various places can be seen sculptures of “crawling babies” by Czech artist David Černý which have been attached to the tower. Černý became well-known for painting a Russian Tank pink in 1991, for which he was first arrested and later considered a national hero.

Analogue TV transmission has ended in the Czech Republic, all TV is now digital. The tower also transmits Sound Broadcast signals (FM and digital) and is used for many other telecommunications services. The TV transmitters in other parts of the Czech Republic can be monitored and controlled from this Control Room.

The tower is also used by Paegas, the Czech GSM mobile telecommunications service. There are unverified rumours that in the original planning of the tower, there was an intention to use it for jamming the reception of TV programmes originating from outside the Communist countries.

The enclosed ‘look-out cabins’ are at a height of 65, 95 and 104 m. The middle one is open to the public for viewing the city, and at one time there was also a restaurant in the lowest one (now closed). The tower design is by Ing. arch. Václav Aulická, Dr. Ing. Jiří Kozák, CSc. and Ing. Alex Bém.

The three ‘legs’ have diameters of 6.4m and 4.8 m, the larger one continuing up to form the antenna. High speed elevators are incorporated into the ‘legs’ including one especially for safe use by Fire Emergency Services. The base extends down 15 m underground into a huge concrete slab.#

Thanks to the Director of the TV Tower, Ing. Milan Kusbach for the permission and arrangement of the visit on 8th October 2010, at the time of an IEEE Region 8 Committee Meeting in Prague

Prof Tony Davies Emeritus Professor, King’s College London Former Director, IEEE Region 8