Hotel Ještěd – Liberec, Czechia - Atlas Obscura

Hotel Ještěd

This unusually shaped mountaintop tower looks like a UFO floating over the city. 


Named after the mountain on which it sits, the 308-foot Ještěd Tower extends the mountain’s shadow over the Czech city of Liberec. This unusually shaped radio tower and hotel dominates the skyline, and illuminated at night it is a sight to behold. Surrounded by darkness, it looks like a mysterious spaceship floating over the city and its inhabitants below.

Completed in 1973, the hyperboloid tower was designed by Karel Hubáček, earning him the Perret award by the International Union of Architects. Pioneering construction techniques were required to ensure the tower could withstand extreme weather conditions and high winds. The structure soon became a symbol of Liberec, drawing visitors from all over the region as well as neighboring Germany and Poland, particularly during ski season.

The building itself has a futuristic flair (or at least “the future” according to the ’60s) both inside and out. The tower was designed to naturally extend the silhouette of the mountain it tops, but isn’t merely decorative. It is a television transmitter, built to withstand the extreme climate. Built between 1966 and 1973, the Ještěd Tower was awarded the Perret Prize, an honor bestowed by the International Union of Architects.

Below the tower is a hotel and restaurant, both of which embraced the “space age” motif with rounded egg chairs hanging from ceilings and gold-tinted lighting, everything decidedly round. The view is one of the most breathtaking in all of the Czech Republic, looking out over parts of Germany and Poland, and the majority of Bohemia.

The mountain summit and tower can be reached by multiple hiking trails, car, or cable car from Liberec city. At the top, visitors can expect breathtaking views of the Lusatian Mountains of the Western Sudetes, and beyond. Those who wish to stay longer above the clouds can wine and dine at the tower restaurant or stay the night at the Ještěd Hotel.


Know Before You Go

The tower can be accessed by car, hiking routes, or cable car. The cable car terminal in the Hanychov district can be reached by car or tram. Check weather conditions before heading up the mountain. Hotel reservations can be made online.

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