Prague tourists must pay to ride famed paternoster from this summer

Last year, the city announced plans to charge a fee due to an influx of tourists; it has now announced how much it'll cost to ride the rare elevator. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 07.05.2024 11:30:00 (updated on 07.05.2024) Reading time: 1 minute

In recent years, the fight to preserve Prague's historic paternoster elevators has had its ups and downs. Some uplifting news, however, is on the horizon: tourists will soon pay a fee to access the paternoster elevator in the Prague City Hall on Mariánské náměstí.

From June, a ride on the historic elevator will cost passengers CZK 250, reports Czech server The decision to charge for riding the paternoster follows a surge in tourist interest with dozens lining up to ride the rare elevator, often ignoring safety instructions and capacity limits.

Overcrowding and safety concerns

The influx of tourists not only damaged the lift but disrupted daily operations of City Hall employees with dozens of curious onlookers gathering near the elevator and wandering the buildings and offices.

In April 2023, the city temporarily closed the paternoster for a technical evaluation and announced that new rules would be set up for its future operation; in August of last year the city announced plans to introduce a fee.

Prague City Tourism will maintain the elevator and also organize tours. Revenues from ticket sales are primarily intended to cover the costs of providing tourist services.

A paternoster is a doorless, conveyor-belt-style elevator commonly found in 20th-century office buildings in Europe. The EU currently prohibits their construction but existing ones can still operate.

City Hall's paternoster gained a wave of tourist attention after a viral video dubbed it a hidden gem attraction. Its name, "Paternoster," derived from the Latin term "Our Father," reflects the linked cabin design resembling rosary beads. Users must hop on and off, making it a unique, albeit obsolete, mode of vertical transportation.

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