St Nicholas Bell Tower Svatomikulášská městská zvonice

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A picturesque view of the Lesser Town's buildings and square is the reward for climbing 215 steps to the 65-metre high viewing gallery of the tower adjacent to the Baroque Church of St Nicholas. The bell tower from 1755, which also served as a fire watchtower, was the last town crier's tower in Prague. From the 1960s to the 1980s it served as an observation post for the State Security Service for monitoring the Western embassies located in the surrounding area.

Object description

Early Bird Discount initiative: 50% off the admission fee every day during the first hour after opening

Lítačka card holder: CZK 135

Multi-ticket “8 objects in 365 days

  • adults: CZK 850
  • reduced: CZK 600

10% discount on admission when buying an eTicket online

Free admission for children under 5. The reduced admission fee is intended for children aged 6-15, students under 26, seniors over 65, and holders of disability identification card ZTP. The family ticket is valid for 2 adults and up to 4 children.

The tower houses a permanent exhibition entitled Custos Turris / City Watch. Visitors can see the lodgings of the Tower watchman from the latter 18th century complete with a ‘black kitchen’ – the only accessible one of its kind in Prague. Adjacent to this is the town crier’s room – where the watchman did his duty. 

Building history

The Baroque bell-tower, which also served as a fire alarm and clock tower, was built together with the Church of St Nicholas. The building, which replaced the earlier Gothic town bell-tower, was designed and built by the influential architect Kilián lgnác Dientzenhofer. His pupil and son-in-law Anselmo Lurago only modified a portion of the interiors. The tower was built in 1739. It was not fully completed until 1755.

Two years later, the building was damaged, during the Prussian siege of Prague.  Although at first glance it may seem that the tower belongs with the church of St Nicholas, it was never an ecclesiastical property, but always a secular municipal property of the Lesser Town of Prague. The height of the tower is the same as the height of the adjacent church dome – 79m, the gallery is 65m off the ground, 215 steps up. Running up the entire solid construction is a spiral staircase, mostly brick, timber-framed only in the uppermost section. In addition to the staircase and roof truss, the building also comprises several rooms, serving as the towerman’s abode and office. 
Among the interesting aspects of this important monument are the singular black kitchen (the only accessible one in Prague), the Baroque sewer system and the bell of St Nicholas dating from 1576. 
Starting in the 1960s, true to the then regime’s practices, the tower came to stand for something else – being a secret police observation centre, for monitoring the surrounding embassies (notably the American, German and British ones). 
In the tower, visitors will get acquainted with the demanding life of the towermen – the city’s sentries, the history of the building and the misuse of the monument during the Communist.

Opening hours

january - march

all week: 10:00 - 18:00

april - may

all week: 10:00 - 19:00

june - august

all week: 09:00 - 21:00

september

all week: 10:00 - 19:00

october - november

all week: 10:00 - 18:00

december

all week: 10:00 - 20:00

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Contact

Malostranské náměstí 29
Malá Strana
11800 Praha 1

+420775400052
https://www.prague.eu/svatomikulasskazvonice
tourinfo@prague.eu