Černá věž (Black Tower) in České Budějovice - Czech republic
Černá věž (Black Tower) in České Budějovice
It is a construction of 16th century, situated in city centre of České Budějovice, just nearby St.Nicholas cathedral. It is popular tourist attraction, especially thanks to its good view on city centre. The decision regarding the construction, was issued in 1547. The building could serve as watch and town-crier tower, as bell-tower and also as a symbol of town´s wealth. The construction was effected within 1549-1577. And finally, there was also placed o´clock in tower in 1606. Last general reconstruction of this tower was made within 1982-1985.
The tower has square groundplan. It is 71,9 metres high and its sides have length of 11,6 metres. The walls have - in base 3,1 metres width - and with increasing height they become more narrow, and they have approx. 2 metres thickness on top. The inside space is divided into nine floors (stages). In its sixth and seventhe floor, as well as in tower-cupola, there are placed 6 bells alltogether. Bumerin is the biggest of them, with 3,5 tonns weight, 182 cm diameter, and 147 cm height. The tower was constructed, up to the height of fifth floor (stage) in Gothic style, further, from sixth floor up to tower-cupola, prevails Renaissance style.
Regarding death-bell it is told the following story: Tower-watchman had no pleasure to mount into highest stages of the tower at any time, when there was necessary to make funeral sounds. So, he bound a belt to a bell, which reached to his flat in tower, in order to have bell-ringing easier. Probably a Death (skeleton), sitting on the bell, helped him in this work. Nevertheless, the skeleton could be seen by children only, so in spite of this, it is not advisable to watch swinging death-bell.
Text: Václav Zamba, Pavla Voborníková
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