130 years since opening of Petřín funicular

Petřín funicular in 1891

The Petřín funicular transports roughly 2 million people every year up and down Prague’s most famous hill and is the second most visited attraction in the Czech Republic. It was built on the occasion of the General Land Centennial Exhibition in 1891, which took place in Prague.

Petřín funicular | Photo: Jiří Roun,  fotokartmen.cz

Building what was then the longest funicular in the Austro-Hungarian Empire took just five months. It functioned on a water balance propulsion system and was 383 meters long. However, the propulsion system had its downsides. The water often froze during winter months and so much of the liquid had to be diverted to the funicular that residents of the nearby Újezd neighborhood sometimes had trouble getting anything out of their taps.

The Petřín funicular was in service until the First World War during which it was closed. It was only reopened in 1932, which saw Prague host a major Sokol athletics club gathering. In 1965 the funicular was closed down again, this time due to damage caused by a landslide, and only reopened 20 years later. Since then it has transported around 55 million passengers.

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