5 Amazing Czech Lookout Towers

These watchtowers promise historical high points – and breathtaking views

Jan Purkrábek

Written by Jan Purkrábek Published on 14.10.2013 16:02:57 (updated on 14.10.2013) Reading time: 4 minutes

The Czech Republic, with some 350+ lookout towers currently holds first place as the country with the most lookout towers in the world. What sets Czech towers apart? They are usually open to the public and serve an important role in the local tourism tradition. Most of these unique towers were built during the golden era of lookout-tower construction in the ’70s and ’80s of the 19th century, while many others were erected during the First and Second World Wars, albeit primarily to aid the war effort.

In more recent years, due to renewed interest and new funding opportunities, several modern lookout towers have sprung up. The sheer number has made lookout towers an inseparable part of the Czech landscape. Much like mushroom picking, visiting lookout towers on travels has become a national sport and rightly so: the views are often unforgettable. With fall knocking on our door, we have selected five captivating towers you should consider visiting. 

Rozhledna Kleť
Český Krumlov

Source: ckrumlov.cz
Source: ckrumlov.cz


Visitors to Český Krumlov should not miss seeing this UNESCO gem again from a different perspective. The Kleť stone lookout tower is the oldest in the Czech Republic, built in 1825 in the neogothic style – accompanied by the highest standing astrological observatory. This 18-meter-high tower offers a view of Český Krumlov, the Lipno water reservoir, Hluboká chateau, as well as the numerous mountain ranges such as Šumava. On a clear day, you can even catch a glimpse of the Alps.

More information (CZ only)

Stezka Korunami Stromů

Source: stezkakorunamistromu.cz
Source: stezkakorunamistromu.cz

Perhaps one of the most fascinating lookout towers is the Stezka korunami stromů (Treetop trail) in Lipno. The structure itself resembles a large spiral and is 40 meters tall at its highest point. Climbing all the way to the top will provide you with a stunning view of the Lipno water reservoir, Šumava’s natural habitat, as well as the Austrian Alps on a clear day. The lookout tower offers stops with information for both adults and children. It also offers a 52 meters long (and safe) dry slide (toboggan) for those seeking a little a bit of adrenalin on the way down. All in all, prepare for what is a 675-meter-long trail in a fascinating setting.

Rozhledna Blaník

Source: obecjankov.cz
Source: obecjankov.cz

The Blaník lookout tower, first built in 1895, then rebuilt in 1914 and finally in 1939, is a wooden tower in the shape of a Hussite keep at the Large Blaník mountain not too far from Vlašim. Its significance lies in the fact it stands on top of the Blaník mountain which according to folk beliefs holds an army of mystical knights ready to help the country when it finds itself in trouble. The trail leading to the top of the mountain is a bit longer, but well worth the climb. Once you reach the top, you can treat yourself with some refreshments as there is a small shop at the entrance. The view is simply spectacular in all directions you happen to look. You can even see as far as Prague on a clear day. If you still have time, Vlašim, with its beautiful park and chateau, is a great place to visit.

Rozhledna Praděd

Source: jeseniky.ezin.cz
Source: jeseniky.ezin.cz

The Praděd lookout tower, situated on Morava’s highest mountain Praděd, was first built in 1904. Resembling a medieval castle tower, it became a famous tourist destination as far back as the 1850s. Construction of a new tower started in 1968 after the collapse of the original building in 1957. It was built to serve as a lookout tower as well as a TV tower. It now stands 162 meters above the tip of the mountain (the tower’s tip reaches above the tallest mountain in the Czech Republic, Sněžka). The tower provides an unrivaled view of the Jeseníky mountains as well as the Tatra mountains of Slovakia including the famous Malá and Velká Fatra peaks. The surrounding areas are a nature reserve and considered to hold the country’s richest plant habitat.

Rozhledna Bohdanka

Source: obecbohdanec.cz
Source: obecbohdanec.cz

Bohdanka, built not too long ago in 2011, is a wooden lookout tower by Bohdaneč near Kutná Hora. Despite not being built on the highest peak in its immediate surroundings (the foot of the tower stands at 498 meters above sea level), it is an impressive structure with a height of 52 meters and is said to be the tallest of its kind on the entire European continent. The view offers impressive sights covering the Sázava river valley, Blaník mountain, as well as the Krkonoše and Orlické hory mountains on a clear day.

Lookout towers are and continue to be a favorite among tourists. With growing demand and increased general interest, we will most likely continue seeing new lookout towers built. They were and will be an integral part of the Czech landscape.

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