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Petrín sady Review
For a superb view of the city—from a slightly more solitary perch—the top of Petrín Hill includes a charming playground for children and adults alike, with a miniature Eiffel Tower. The park is laced with footpaths, with several buildings clustered together near the tower. Just keep going gradually upward until you reach the base, where you can also find a mirror maze (bludiste) in a small structure, and the seemingly abandoned svatý Vavrinec (St. Lawrence) church. The peaceful area is an ideal spot for an afternoon of wandering. You can walk up from Karmelitská ulice or Újezd down in the Lesser Quarter, or ride the funicular railway from U lanové dráhy ulice, off Újezd. You can also stroll over from Strahov kláster (Strahov Monastery). Regular public-transportation tickets are valid on the funicular. Lines for the funicular can be long on a clear day, and they move slowly. (If the line is far outside the terminal door, you're in for at least a 30-minute wait, if not longer.) To descend, take the funicular or meander on foot down past the Stations of the Cross on the pathways leading back to the Lesser Quarter. A number of paths meander down the face of the hillside through fruit orchards, and finally back to Karmelitská; a wide path goes to Strahov Monastery. The funicular, an attraction in itself, is run as an extension of the tram system. The station at the top opens onto a rose garden, a lovely destination in the summer months.
As you exit the funicular at the top of Petrín Hill, the rounded dome to your left is Stefánik Observatory, a working astronomical facility with some fine displays (though not many in English). Both day and night telescope viewings are available. 257-320-540. www.observatory.cz.
A large children's play area in Petrín sady is dominated by the nearly 200-foot Petríinská rozheldna, a smaller replica of the Eiffel Tower with a marvelous view of the city from the top. This is not an attraction for the timid; the only way to the viewing platforms is via a circular stairway that wraps around the outside of the tower, a safe but dizzying ascent. The hardy who make the climb will be rewarded with a dazzlingly view.
A stone's throw from the Petrín Tower, the Bludiste na Petrína is an amusement-park attraction with, as the name suggests, a variety of amusingly distorted mirrors. It's great fun for the kids. 257-315-212.
- Address: Petrín Hill, Prague, Bohemia, 118 00 | Map It
- Cost: Observatory 55 Kc, Tower 100 Kc, Maze 70 Kc
- Hours: Observatory: Jan. and Feb., Tues.--Fri. 6--8 pm, weekends 11--8; Mar., Tues.--Fri. 7--9 pm, weekends 11--6, and 7--9; Apr.--Aug., Tues.--Fri. 2--7 and 9--11, weekends 11--7, and 9--11; Sept., Tues.--Fri. 2--6 and 8--10, weekends 11--6, and 8--10; Oct., Tues.--Fri. 7--9, weekends 11--6, and 7--9; Nov. and Dec., Tues.--Fri. 6--8, weekends 11--8. Tower and Maze: Daily 10--10
- Location: Malá Strana (Lesser Quarter)
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