Lookout towers

Ještěd - TV transmitter

The unique building on the summit of Ještěd has become the dominant landmark of Liberec and the region as a whole. The Ještěd Hotel and TV transmitter is a national cultural heritage site and was even chosen by architects as the Czech building of the 20th century!
Location
Address:Horní Hanychov 153Liberec, 460 08GPS:50°43'57.7''N; 14°59'4.1''E[Map]
Contact
Phone:+420 485 104 291E-mail:recepce@jested.czWeb:http://www.jested.cz

The cable car to Ještěd is out of order until further notice.


The tumultuous history of the building

It all began with a catastrophe, when the original hotel on Ještěd burned down in 1963. According to the subsequent architectural tender, two new buildings were to be erected on the plateau - a hotel and a television transmitter. Architect Karel Hubáček took a truly original approach to this assignment, in fact he ignored it completely. His plans were for a single building that would serve both purposes at the same time, and as the unusual shape of the building fitted in so nicely with the silhouette of the Ještěd ridge, Hubáček’s design deservedly won the contract. However, Hubáček is not the only person who can take the credit for this unique structure. The static work was done by Zdeněk Patrman, and the interior was designed by Otakar Binar, who made ample use of glass as a tribute to this region’s traditional raw material. Experts describe the shape of the building as a high-tech rotating hyberboloid, while laymen often see it as a fantastic spaceship. However, without a doubt the project was way ahead of its time, and it won Karel Hubáček the prestigious Perret Award from the International Association of Architects in 1969 (the only Czech ever to have received it). The Ještěd Hotel and transmitter was completed in 1973 and has been a popular destination for tourists ever since.

An unusual building packed with ingenious ideas

Such an unconventional building called for some unconventional building techniques, some of which were used in practice for the very first time. As the antennas are located inside the building, a special laminate shell had to be developed; a fishing rod factory was the only company willing to produce the plastic rods that were needed, each several metres long (and for that they still had to drill a hole in the factory, which was too small), and the list goes on. There were also some dramatic moments after the building was completed, when strong winds caused it to vibrate and it looked like the tower would collapse. The designers solved this problem by placing 600 kilos of ballast and fitting the building with shock absorbers. It's not going to move much with this kind of load, so Ještěd has survived unscathed to this day.
From top to bottom pointing to the stars : The two lowest floors house the machine room, the technical facilities and service rooms. Above them there’s a viewing terrace, a buffet, a restaurant with a café and a hotel. The top part is for the comms equipment and the top consists of a tubular superstructure supporting the 17-metre antenna.

A heavenly spectacle

A phenomenon. The perfect way to describe the Ještěd Hotel, which has caught the attention of the whole world. The building shines out into the dark like a lighthouse at night, lightning rages around it during storms, and the cloudfalls are a real sight to behold, when the clouds wash lazily over the surrounding hills. You can see a spaceship, a little Martian and a Meteor Shower, and enjoy some real romance under the heavens.

Head up to the top of the mountain

You can get to the bottom of Ještěd’s slopes by taking tram no. 3 towards Horní Hanychov and get off at the final stop. If you want to make your own way up to the top, you can follow the footpath (the blue markers) from the last tram stop, which is an easy route winding up through the forest, or you can take the steep way up below the cable car route, which will take you around an hour. Be sure to bear in mind that you can only walk "under the cables" in summer, as there’s a downhill ski slope there in winter!
Properties
Services and facilities:
CloakroomRefreshments
Attachments