Black Tower


Black Tower České Budějovice
Black Tower České Budějovice

Black Tower is a well-known 16th century belfry tower in České Budějovice. It’s situated near Přemysl Otakar II Square next to the Cathedral of St. Nicholas and the Church of St. Anne. Being new to the city the tower is my landmark if I get lost.

Square from Tower
Square from Tower
St, Nicholas Cathedral
Cathedral of St. Nicholas

The tower was built in 1553 of the dark local stone. The viewing deck has incredible panoramic views over the countryside and rooftops of České Budějovice. You can see Hluboká Castle in the distance.

Church of St. Anne
Church of St. Anne

You climb several hundred steps on a narrow wooden staircase to reach the top. The tower has two main bells ‒ the Marta (1723) and Budvar (1995) which ring daily.

Tower Bell
Tower Bell

The tower’s stairway is ominous. Now I have a better understanding of what being “sent to the tower” really meant! The barred cells are grim and just getting in and out of them must have been difficult for anyone weighing over a 100 pounds, not to mention the terror of making your way there.

Tower Door
Tower Door
Rooftops from Tower
Rooftops from Tower

The Cathedral of St Nicholas is beside the tower. Built as a church in the 13th century, it was rebuilt in 1649 and made into a cathedral in 1784.

Black tower is near my apartment and I love looking at it and listening to its bells ring.