Petřín – The Mirror Maze

Petřín – The Mirror Maze

The Petřín Mirror Maze is one of the most popular and visited sights of Prague. It was built according to a model of the Vyšehrad defensive tower Špička. The building was designed as an exhibition pavilion for the General Land Centennial Exhibition.

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History of the construction – the exhibition pavilion Petřín – The Mirror Maze
There was a General Land Centennial Exhibition at Výstaviště from May to October 1891. It was focussed on the development of the machine and food industry. Also certain handicrafts were introduced and the culture and arts were represented there, too. Due to this event many new buildings were built in Výstaviště. Besides the Industrial Palace the exhibition was dominated also by the Pavilion of the Czech Tourist Club, an imitation of the defensive tower Špička. A gate composed of nine towers used to be part of the Gothic Vyšehrad fortifications and it was pulled down due to 17th-century reconstruction of Vyšehrad. The remains of the tower are still to be found between Táborská Gate and Leopoldova Gate.

Construction of the pavilion
The pavilion of the Czech Tourist Club
was performed by Antonín Wiehl, the architect of the whole General Land Centennial Exhibition. It was made of wood and the nine towers and battlement were mounted on its top. The facade above the main gate contained the signs of Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia and Slovakia. Consequently a painting with the scenes from the Thirty Years War – the times when Prague was occupied by the Swedish troops – was displayed in the pavilion. „The Fight on Charles Bridgewas one of the pavilion´s most popular exponates. There was also a possibility to buy various tourist products such as maps, guidebooks, tourist sticks of for instance waterproof clothes.

The figure of the porter
At the entrance of the exhibition pavilion a porter wearing a historical costume was standing. He was welcoming the visitors by a lantern and long engraved pipe. To complete the impression he was also holding a poleaxe or long spear.

Next fate of the pavilion Petřín – The Mirror Maze
When the General Land Centennial Exhibition was over there were questions concerning the further purpose of the building. It was a pity to pull it down so the pavilion was moved to the neighbourhood of St. Lawrence Church on Petřín. The place was selected due to its convenient location close to Petřín Lookout Tower and the funicular. The pavilion was decomposed, rebuilt on Petřín Hill and finally opened to the public on May 1st, 1892. In the premises of the former exhibition hall an attraction was installed which turned the Maze into a very popular Prague sight. The mentioned attraction is the Mirror Maze reminding Gothic corridors. With help of the many mirrors they create a perfect labyrinth out of which it is hard to get.

Mirror Maze and Hall of Laugh
In 1911 more mirrors were intalled in the Labyrinth. This time they were no classical straight mirrors but wierdly shaped and bended ones. As soon as you look into them you will change into dwarves or your figure will prolong. It is not coincidence that this part of the maze is called the „Hall of Laugh“. No one looking at their prolonged or dwarfish body parts can help laughing.

Maze on Petřín
Petřín Gardens
Praha 1 – Malá Strana (Prague 1 – Lesser Town)

Opening Times
October, March: Mon – Sun 10 am – 8 pm
November – February: Mon – Sun 10 am – 6 pm
April – September: Mon – Sun 10 am – 10 pm

Entrance Fees
Opencard – Opencard owners have a discount (50,- Kč instead of standard 70,- Kč) per entrance and 20% discount of the privilege entrance fee.
– 70 Kč
6 – 15 years, students 15 – 26 years – 50 Kč
Children younger than 6 years, disabled persons (ZTP, ZTP+P), journalists – 20 Kč
Family tickets (max. 2 adults + max. 4 children younger than 15 years) – 200 Kč
Group of basic school pupils (max. 30 pupils + max. 2 adults – after showing a confirmation issued by the basic school)  – 500 Kč
Kindergartens (group of max. 30 children incl. max 2 persons) – 300 Kč

Transport Connection:
Tram: 9,12, 20, 22, 57 – Újezd station – then go by the fenicular to Petřín, then walk towards the Lookout Tower
Bus: 176, 510 – Švandovo divadlo station (then go by tram Nr. 12, 20 to Újezd station) – then go by the fenicular to Petřín, then walk towards the Lookout Tower
Bus: 143, 149, 176, 217  – Stadion Strahov station – then walk along the Strahov Dormitory towards Petřín
Metro – line B, Anděl station (then go by tram Nr. 12, 20 to Újezd station) – then go by the fenicular to Petřín, then walk towards the Lookout Tower

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GPS: 50°5’0.917″N, 14°23’46.64″E

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