A 35-meter tall Ferris wheel went up seemingly overnight last week in Prague 4, much to the surprise of locals including officials from the district’s City Hall.
Located in a vacant parking lot by the Botel Racek, not far from Prague’s popular beach hangout Žluté lázně on the Vltava river, the Ferris wheel is part of a new temporary fairground that is slated to operate through August, and also include other attractions and refreshment stands.
It belongs to Lunapark Dykovský, which operates other fairground attractions around the Czech Republic, and recently ran a bungee catapult ride at Prague’s OC Arkády.
As of this past Saturday, the Ferris wheel has been in operation, though rainy weather kept the crowds at bay over the weekend. A five-minute ride costs 100 crowns, according to the operator.
The new Ferris wheel is currently the only of its kind Prague, which said goodbye to a historic Ferris wheel at the Výstaviště Exhibition Grounds in 2018.
Plans for a permanent Ferris wheel by the Vltava river at the Smíchov waterfront embankment have yet to be realized, and are likely to have fallen through entirely.
Given its location, Lunapark Dykovský’s Ferris wheel offers beautiful views of Prague castles in Hradčany and Vyšehrad, the operator proudly boasts on social media.
But not everyone is happy with Prague’s newest Ferris wheel. On social media, residents of Prague 4 have complained that the new structure ruins the historic skyline in the area.
Because the Ferris wheel is a temporary structure built on private land, the operators did not have to file an application with the city, only announce their intentions. But because residents have already lodged complaints, Prague 4 City Hall will investigate the matter.
“Unhappy people ask us why we rented land to such a big attraction, but the land is not ours,” Prague 4 spokesperson Jiří Bigas told Lidovky.cz.
“Nobody made a contract with us about the Ferris wheel. We are not very happy about the Ferris wheel.”
“The Building Department of the Prague 4 City District Office did not issue any decision or other measure in this matter, nor did it receive any application. However, we will definitely deal with it.”
Still, Lunapark Dykovský is hopeful that the Ferris wheel will bring happiness to the majority of Prague residents this summer season.
“We said to ourselves that it was a pity that Prague didn’t have a Ferris wheel,” Lunapark Dykovský’s Anna Dykovská told local media.
“There are always some people who oppose [Ferris wheels], mainly older people. There are always many more who are satisfied.”