Jested Tower on Jested Mountain is a must see if visiting the Liberec region of the Czech Republic. This UFO shaped television transmission tower also boasts a first rate restaurant and hotel. The views are spectacular and not to be missed!
Jested, otherwise known as Ještěd in the Czech language, is a majestic mountain located in the Lužické hory (Lusatian Mountains) which span part of the Liberec Region. In fact, the capital of Liberec, lies just at its foot. The regional capital is aptly named Liberec! At the top of Jested, you'll find Jested Tower - a splendid television tower that is so much more than meets the eye.
Jested Tower holds not just the inner workings of a television tower, but is also home to Hotel Jested as well as a top notch restaurant that will wow you with its scrumptious cuisine and 1970's ground breaking decor in the Communist era.
Special thanks to the Liberec Region and Czech Tourism for hosting my visit to the beautiful countryside of the Czech Republic. This post may also contain affiliate links. I only recommend products, experiences, and services I use personally and believe would be a good fit for my readers. This comes at no added cost to you!
Jested Mountain isn't the highest peak, that honor goes to Luž. However, the dominant symbol is not the mountain, but the hyperboloid shape of the transmission tower. This is to me a complex geometry problem, which I'm sure my physics and math major son would totally understand, but a concept that makes my head spin a bit.
It's truly an architectural wonder, and the list of hyperboloid shaped buildings is not very long. One of the first with this design was Shukhov Tower in Polibino, Russia, the Dorton Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina, the St Louis Science Center's planetarium in Missouri, the Sydney Tower in Australia, and more recently Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. In case you don't have any clue about these buildings, you can reference a Pringles potato chip which apparently is a hyperbolic paraboloid. Who knew?!!!
How to get to Jested:
Our tour group lead us to the top of Jested by way of a van after our tour of Czeski Raj Bohemian Paradise Geopark. If your leery of heights, the Lusatian Mountains were quite mild. The road up to Jested Tower is a windy road that swirls up the mountain. It was a very short drive, but since I prefer not to do drives like this, I rode in a middle seat and focused on a conversation with another person while our driver navigated. No one else in the van blinked an eye. I think most people wouldn't.
Their website does mention that snow tires and chains are required for snow, so something to keep in mind as well. Also, the parking fee is 200 CZK a car per day (around $9) and 100 CZK (around $4) for a motorcycle. Hotel guests are given free parking for one vehicle per day. Also be aware of bicyclists and walkers along the road especially as you get closer to the top.
Another option for transportation to the television tower is by funicular. Local public transportation has the funicular as a drop off spot, so if you don't have a vehicle, this would be a good option if you are trying to get from the town of Liberec to Jested. This cable way drops you right at Hotel Jested. Talk about service! While riding, you'll be exposed to fantastic views. Keep in mind the cable car only runs in good weather, and things like snow storms can cancel it. Jested weather, like all mountains, can be unpredictable! One of the things you might spy while visiting is the amount of wind gliders. We were very impressed at the number and skill of these hang gliders.
Jested Tower was designed by Karel Hubáček. Hubáček wasn't initially just given the job. He beat out 10 other architects in a contest to design the transmission tower/hotel on Jested. Between design time and build time, it took 10 years to complete (1966-1973). Combining the hotel and restaurant with the television tower made it serve 2 purposes and was a stroke of genius. Another thing most people forget is that Jested Tower was built during Czechoslovakia's communist era. It wasn't until after 1989 that Czechoslovakia broke into what is now known as the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic. Another issue that Hubáček came across was trying to build in the area's harsh weather.
Jested Tower is roughly 308 feet tall. The bottom floor entryway includes a gift shop that you don't want to miss. I was actually gifted a glass paperweight of Jested that sits on my desk. It's a lovely reminder of my trip to the Czech Republic. The stairs lead you to the restaurant and on to the hotel as well. The upper region of the tower is dedicated to the inner working of television transmission.
As part of our dinner, we were presented with a discussion on the design process of Ještěd. What a treat this was! Otakar Binar was in charge of the interior design. Not only did we learn about the structure of the building but also about the design elements inside. One of the things that impressed me the most was the restaurants attention to detail. They wanted everything, recreations and all to be from the original designs. This is one reason why the interior is so unique.
You'll see in the above photo, the original blue prints for the chairs used in the restaurant. How phenomenal it was to see these and see the chairs that were recreated. They are quite chic and in style nowadays to don't you think? And yes, you may be able to find something similar at a store now, but I'm sure when the tower opened, these were revolutionary.
And speaking of revolution--- tracking down dishes hasn't been easy. One of the best stories relayed to us that evening was that when the Jested Tower Restaurant opened they had a hard time with theft of dishes. Remember I mentioned the tower opened during the communist period? Most people living in the area at that time had plain dishes- everyone had the same. People would steal the dishes from the restaurant so they could have something different, unique and upscale. Part of procuring the pieces has been to have some of those returned.
The views are spectacular. So are the drinks. Not only can you see parts of Bohemia and the Jizera mountains, but on clear days you can view parts of Germany and Poland as well. I often felt as though I was in a real life episode of the Jetson's. The design must have felt so ground breaking on its opening. We made lots of comments to each other about being in a space ship!
The restaurant is open for all 3 meals, and the 360 degree shape of the restaurant allows for epic views. You'll want to make a reservation for sure. It can often become crowded, and so planning ahead will pay off. The tower restaurant is open all year with the exception of Christmas Eve on December 24th. Their hours our 10am to midnight, so you can grab a morning espresso or a romantic candlelight dinner.
The restaurant has 120 seats and the bar area has 50. I was surprised to learn that the restaurant also allows pets. Sadly, I didn't see any puppies on my visit.
The menu is diverse. We had a starting appetizer of Steak Tartare. Being the steak lover that I am, I had steak as a main course. Something to note is that the Czech Republic's version of doneness of a steak varies greatly from the American way. If you don't prefer your meat on the rarer side, you might want to mention that! My steak was succulent and delicious, as were the side of potatoes. Since I'm gluten free, I went with ice cream for dessert which was a sweet treat!
The rooms are superb with many offerings. Everything from a suite, to retro, to the director's room to economy rooms. Each one of course having the epic views that Jested Tower is famous for. It is a small hotel, so I'm sure rooms book up fast. They range from 1900 CZK to 4400 CZK and above with breakfast included. That's roughly around $82 - $190 and up in American dollars. It also includes free parking for
For a view like that, it's actually priceless in my mind! How often do you get to stay at a mountain hotel? There is only 1 suite so if you are eyeing that don't dawdle on that room! They also have 12 double rooms. They also make accommodations for families, so feel free to reach out to them if that is something you are looking for. The hotel is also pet friendly, just like the restaurant.
I sadly didn't get to sneak a peek at the rooms, but several of my friends did and they all gave them a thumbs up. You can book directly on the Hotel Jested website. They also offer packages, so be sure to find the best deal for you and your needs.
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If you're looking for unique accommodations in the Czech Republic or a picturesque view while dining, I highly recommend Jested Tower. It's an experience for the senses! Be sure to schedule time in just to look around!
Happy travels my friend!