2nd Ugliest Building In The World: Prague’s Controversial Landmark

In the heart of Prague stands a structure that has stirred much debate and divided opinions: the Žižkov 2nd Ugliest Building In The World Prague.

Once voted the second-ugliest building in the world, this tower is a striking example of high-tech architecture that clashes with the city’s historic skyline.

Designed by architect Václav Aulický and structural engineer Jiří Kozák, the tower was completed in 1992 amidst controversy.

Its unconventional design, featuring babies crawling up its sides by artist David Černý, has since become an iconic part of Prague’s identity, challenging the notion of beauty in architecture.

An infographic of The 2nd ugliest building in the world

Žižkov Television Tower ugliest building contest

The Žižkov Television Tower was once ranked as the second ugliest building in the world by the website Virtualtourist.com.
This ranking occurred in 2009, and the only building considered uglier at that time was the Morris A.
Mechanic Theatre in Baltimore, USA. However, since the demolition of the Morris A.
Mechanic Theatre in 2014, the Žižkov Television Tower topped the list according to that poll.
Despite this dubious distinction, the tower has become a unique part of Prague’s skyline and is appreciated by many for its architectural uniqueness and the panoramic views it offers of the city.

Žižkov Television Tower history

The Žižkov Television Tower, an emblem of Prague’s bold urban evolution in the late 20th century, boasts distinctive high-tech architecture.

Its construction, commencing in 1985 and concluding in 1992 amidst Czechoslovakia’s political upheavals, marked a pivotal era in the nation’s history.

Designed by architect Václav Aulický and structural engineer Jiří Kozák, the tower soars to a height of 216 meters, reigning as Prague’s tallest edifice.

Despite its initial disdain, symbolized by its infamous ranking as the world’s second-ugliest building, the tower has garnered an endearing charm among locals and tourists.

This newfound allure owes much to the whimsical “crawling babies” sculptures crafted by artist David Černý, now an iconic fixture.

Yet, the tower’s journey is not devoid of controversy; it faced scrutiny for its perceived megalomania, skyline disruption, and the disturbance of a Jewish cemetery during its erection.

Nevertheless, its narrative has transformed over time into a distinctive landmark offering breathtaking views of Prague.

Today, it stands as a vibrant cultural nexus and broadcasting hub, embodying the city’s resilient spirit.

Ugliest buildings in the world

The perception of beauty is subjective, and what one person finds unattractive, another may see as unique or cutting-edge.

Nonetheless, certain buildings have garnered notoriety for their unconventional aesthetics.

Here’s a brief compilation of structures that have been dubbed “ugly” by various sources:

  • Elephant Building, Bangkok: This structure, resembling an elephant, frequently appears on lists of visually unappealing buildings.
  • Kaden Tower, Kentucky: Despite its intricate design, it has earned a place among the world’s ugliest buildings.
  • The Fang Yuan Building, China: Despite its coin-like shape, it hasn’t escaped criticism for its appearance.
  • The Portland Building, Oregon: Criticized for its design elements, including small windows and off-white masonry.
  • Selfridges Department Store, England: Situated in Birmingham, its exterior elicits mixed reactions from observers.
  • Petrobras Headquarters, Brazil: Continues to be listed among South America’s least attractive buildings.
  • The Rock, Wellington International Airport, New Zealand: Known for its extension, which some find unappealing.
  • Boston City Hall, Massachusetts: Often derided for its dull appearance and incongruous architecture.
  • CCTV Tower, Beijing, China: Also known as the “squatting man,” its unconventional shape has sparked debate.

These buildings frequently spark architectural discussions and provoke strong opinions, both favorable and unfavorable.

Things to do in Žižkov, Prague

In Prague’s Žižkov district, there’s something for everyone to enjoy, from history buffs to foodies and nightlife enthusiasts.

Here’s what you can experience:

  1. Marvel at the Žižkov Television Tower: Admire its unique architecture and soak in panoramic views of Prague.
  2. Explore Czech History: Visit the National Monument at Vitkov for historical insights and breathtaking city vistas.
  3. Delight in Czech Humor: Catch a performance at the Cimrman English Theatre for a taste of Czech culture and humor.
  4. Indulge in Local Flavors: Wander through the Farmers’ Market at Trhy na Jiraku to savor local delicacies and fresh produce.
  5. Uncover History: Visit the Old Jewish Cemetery to delve into the district’s rich past and heritage.
  6. Guided Historical Tours: Take a guided tour to explore significant landmarks and learn about the district’s history.
  7. Relax in Nature: Enjoy a leisurely day at Riegrovy Sady, a picturesque park perfect for picnics and city views.
  8. Experience Vibrant Nightlife: Dive into Žižkov’s lively nightlife scene, with numerous bars and clubs to choose from.
  9. Join a Fun Adventure: Participate in a treasure hunt for an interactive way to discover the city’s hidden gems.

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