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New town - Prague 2 Category: Town Hall Towers

New Town Council

GPS: 50°4'41.88"N, 14°25'15.96"E

The historical New Town Council building with its monumental 65.5 m high tower dominates the biggest Prague’s square, today’s Charles Square. Although New Town was founded already in 1348 by the most remarkable Czech king Charles IV., a dominating feature of the most important property of the city council, prismatic corner tower, was built as late as 1451 – 1456. Originally bottom part used to be a walk-through, but today this part is walled up. Later a bell was suspended in the tower created by Prague’s bell founder master Bartolomej and a chapel was established on the 2nd floor.

At the beginning the council tower was fulfilling several functions – representative and functional. The functional part lied in setting up two quite small flats for tower keepers on the level of the tower’s gallery. From the city security point of view the tower keepers were important people. They were constantly observing the area from the gallery for the enemy troops. This is why the tower had to be so high to be able to see over the city walls. Their no less important duty was to also observe, whether somewhere in the city fire did not arise. In case of emergency it was their responsibility to clang the bell placed in the tower to alarm the city.

The tower shared together with traditional building many reconstructions, annexes and refurbishments over the centuries as well as political and military events. Even fires were not exception. Today the tower of New Town Council is accessible to the public during the summer tourist season.