The Bata Region


Bata Skyscraper

The view from the 16th floor of the Zlín skyscraper, also known as Building No 21, will help you understand Bata´s idea of Zlín. Below, you will see the geometrically precise grid of factory buildings in the eastern part, and the carefully thought-out structure of schools, dormitories and residential areas all around. Take the express elevator up to the panoramic terrace and book a guided visit of the famous elevator office.

When in 1938 architect Vladimír Karfík completed the construction of the Bata Company's seat in Zlín, it became the tallest administrative building not only in the Czech Republic, but also in Europe. At 77.5 metres, it surpassed the 66-metre high slender tower of the Town Hall in Prostějov. Local people had never seen a building this tall before. It was a complete novelty even for the officials who had to give it a building permit. Even today, this masterpiece by Karfík is an important cultural monument of the functionalist era.

Karfík not only convinced the then head of the company, Jan Antonín Bata, to concentrate the administration in one high-rise building instead of three smaller ones, but also to equip the modern headquarters with technologies that were truly revolutionary in Czechoslovakia at that time. And because Karfík knew very well how precious every second was for the Bata employees, he made sure that the infrastructure of the building was perfect.

Take a ride in the paternoster

4 elevators with operators arrived within 30 seconds of the call. There was an express elevator for visitors, and employees could also travel between the floors in the still-functioning paternoster. The skyscraper was equipped with a teleprinter, a special elevator for letters, or a paper chute loading the paper directly onto a truck that took it to a cartoning plant for further processing.

Interesting facts

You can see many of these conveniences right in the administrative building No 21, which nowadays serves as the Regional and Financial Office of the Zlín Region. Take the express elevator, have a coffee on the panoramic terrace of the 16th floor and see the factory grounds and residential districts from above. You can also try out the telescopes, which are the same type as on American skyscrapers. Visit the 8th floor – the director's floor which has an original look and offers an exhibition on the history of the Bata Company and satellite towns (the so-called "little Zlíns"). On the ground floor there is an exhibition with examples of original machinery, replicas of furniture made of bent steel tubes and a unique elevator office of Jan Antonín Bata.

Our tip

If you want to learn more about the Bata Skyscraper, book a guided tour with a visit to the terrace and a ride in the original elevator office of J. A. Baťa, called "Building No 21 as a symbol of Bata's Zlín". Tours are available from Tuesday to Sunday by prior reservation.

Where next

  • If you enjoyed the Bata Skyscraper, you should also visit The Bata Principle exhibition in the Museum of South East Moravia or The Tomas Bata Memorial, known as the "shining crystal". 
  • Wander into the Bata factory complex with its 1930s-style nooks and crannies. In the reconstructed buildings, production (not only of shoes) is still going on today. Bistros, cafés and shops with a wonderful atmosphere are springing up here.
  • Visit the Infopoint of Bata housing and look into records of Bata employees and their housing conditions in the Bata houses.

Opening hours

Guided tours with a visit to the terrace and a ride in the original elevator office of J. A. Baťa are available by prior reservation

Opening hours of the building, the exhibition on the 2nd floor and the terrace (without a guide, free admission)
MON–SUN 8AM–8PM (in winter months)
MON–SUN 8AM–9PM (rest of the year)
In case of very bad weather, the opening hours of the terrace may be limited or the area may be closed completely.

Opening hours of the café on the terrace

Opening hours of the exhibition on the 8th floor (free admission)
SAT–SUN closed