Tourists would sometimes cause the Prague City Hall paternoster elevator to be out of order, Source: City of Prague

Prague to start charging fee for viral doorless elevator

Prague to start charging fee for viral doorless elevator

The technical device is known as a paternoster and it wasn’t designed for mass usage

You’ve all probably seen various videos circulating on social media channels of a quirky elevator that runs non-stop and has no doors. One such elevator that has gained Internet popularity is the one located in the Prague City Hall at Mariánské náměstí, where the authorities have decided to introduce a fee for those wishing to hitch a ride on it.

The measure was decided after the officials saw that there was a rapid increase in visitors of the retro-style technical device on the part of the tourists, who started visiting in large numbers the administrative building. That, however, also led to a bevvy of problems given the fact that the building and the elevator were never meant to handle large crowds of people.

There’s also an energy-saving argument behind the plan

The odd type of building mobility device is called a paternoster elevator – paternoster meaning “our father” in Latin. However, the name doesn’t allude to a suggestion that you have to pray to survive when using it, but to the fact that its design makes it resemble a rosary loop, with each of the cabins representing a bead.

The sudden influx of tourists caused the paternoster to break down occasionally, plus the uncivil visitors would leave graffiti or stickers. Or they would wander around the administrative halls getting in the way of the public officials trying to do their work.

Still, the authorities decided instead of cutting off access to the elevator to try and make some money out of this popularity. Following the old adage about life, lemons and lemonade, presumably.

The City Hall will leave it up to the local tourist board to decide how much to charge for a ride on the elevator, but what’s already known is that the paternoster will be located behind a glass door and there will be a QR code to scan after payment, and that will grant access.

The QR-reading turnstiles will be located at the back entrance of the building.

The modifications will be done in a way that can bring about another benefit – this one in line with sustainability in mind. Putting the elevator behind glass doors will insulate it from the rest of the building, which suffered in winter from the cold air entering through the chimney occupied by the paternoster.



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