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White Tower

Hradcany - Prague 1 Category: Prague Castle

GPS: 50°5'30.12"N, 14°24'11.88"E

The mighty gun tower is situated in the middle of the north rampart at Prague Castle. It rises above the moat, which is known as Jelení (Deer), to a height of 27.5m. The tower walls in the basement are 1.7m in width. In 1522 the tower gained two more floors with comparably narrower walls. The name of the tower comes from the white arenaceous marl, which was used for the tower construction.

The White Tower is essentially an oval fortified battlement that extends beyond the defence wall to the Deer moat. The building comprises of several storeys with small narrow windows. The outside façade was created during the later renaissance reconstructions. The tower features a hipped roof with sky-light windows and is accessible from the Golden Lane.

White Tower also once served as the State prison. Hundreds of prisoners served their sentence here. After the battle at Bílá Hora (White Hill) several aristocrats, front townsmen and those, who took part in the Estate rising were imprisoned in the White Tower too. During the 30 years war the prison also kept some of the soldiers. For example in 1632 several high officers of the Imperial army were imprisoned here for the cowardliness in front of the enemy.

The tower and the defence corridor are open to the public. Visitors can appreciate displays of knights’ armament, arms and guns. Some of the replicas are available to buy.