Prague's Paternoster Elevator to Charge Tourists for Guided Tours

Prague's historic Paternoster elevator will reopen in June 2024 with guided tours and a 250 CZK fee to mitigate tourist disruption and damage. The move aims to balance economic benefits with cultural heritage preservation and ensure a smoother experience for tourists and locals.

author-image
Nitish Verma
New Update
Prague's Paternoster Elevator to Charge Tourists for Guided Tours

Prague's Paternoster Elevator to Charge Tourists for Guided Tours

In June 2024, the historic Paternoster elevator in Prague's Old Town Hall will reopen its doors to tourists, but with a fee of around 250 Czech crowns (approximately $10 USD) per person. The guided tours, managed by Prague City Tourism (PCT), aim to mitigate tourist disruption and damage to the elevator.

The decision to charge for entry comes after a surge in tourist interest, largely fueled by a popular video guide, which caused damage to the elevator and disrupted operations at the Town Hall. To address these issues, the authorities have modified the area to restrict access to other parts of the building from the elevator.

Why this matters: This move highlights the need for sustainable tourism practices that balance economic benefits with cultural heritage preservation. As tourist destinations worldwide face similar challenges, Prague's approach may serve as a model for managing the impact of mass tourism on historic sites.

Paternosters are a unique elevator design with continuously circulating cabins, invented in the 1860s by Peter Ellis, an architect from Liverpool, England. Although no longer considered elevators under Czech regulations, they can continue operating without needing expensive upgrades to meet modern elevator safety standards.

However, the lack of safety features and the large number of tourists unfamiliar with how to use them safely led to concerns about damage and potential injuries. The revenue generated from the guided tours will cover the service costs associated with maintaining the Paternoster elevator.

This move is expected to help preserve the historic elevator while ensuring a smoother experience for tourists and locals alike. The Paternoster elevator at Prague's Old Town Hall remains a unique attraction, offering visitors a glimpse into the city's rich architectural heritage.

Key Takeaways

  • Prague's Paternoster elevator reopens in June 2024 with a 250 CZK (~$10 USD) fee per person.
  • The fee aims to mitigate tourist disruption and damage to the historic elevator.
  • Guided tours will help preserve the elevator and ensure a smoother experience for tourists and locals.
  • The revenue generated will cover maintenance costs and ensure the elevator's continued operation.
  • Prague's approach may serve as a model for managing mass tourism's impact on historic sites.