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New town - Prague 1 Category: Water towers

The Šitkovská Water-tower

GPS: 50°4'36.84"N, 14°24'48.96"E

The fate of the previous water towers that were standing here cannot be described briefly. We can only state that the occasional destruction of a tower was caused by fires and floods.

The current water-tower was built in 1588-1591. The construction works were led by Karel Mělnický, a townsman from Prague’s New Town. The tower and the water-station, which was situated on the north side of the tower, were built with the help of a wooden crane. Beside the crane the carpenters also constructed eight water wheels to drive the machinery. Documents mention that in 1601 this water-station supplied 3/4 of New Town with water. The water-station was named after the miller, Jan Šítka, who owned the nearby mill.

The water-tower was taken out of service in 1881 and its function was taken over by a new reservior at Karlov. The old water-tower was thoroughly reconstructed in 1883 and served its purpose until 24th May 1913.

The floor plan of the tower is 10m x 10m. The width of the wall is 2.1m in the basement and 1.15m on the top floor. From the inside, the tower is divided into 8 floors. The walls are made of rubble stone and are 35m in height. The total height of the tower is 47m including 12m of the cupola. The exterior walls are encrusted with sandstone and the interior walls were simply plastered. Bossed portals were made from the worked red marble and other decorative details from sand stone. The entrance to the basement is adorned with the New Town emblem above the door. The windows have a simple rectangular stone framing. Inside the tower features wooden joisted ceilings and the individual floors are connected with wooden stairs. Šítkovská water-tower is the least vertical tower in Prague. The deflection from the vertical is 1,15m to the south-east.

The base of the tower was reconstructed in 1995-1996 as part of extensive repairs to the Mánes building. The complete reconstruction was carried out in 2005-2008.