Jindřišská Tower (Jindřišská věž)
This late Gothic tower is part of the Church of St Henry and St Kunhuta and, with its height of 65.7 m, is the highest freestanding bell tower in Prague. Today this structure offers visitors a view from the tenth floor, a restaurant, a museum and a gallery. Another unique feature is the carillon – a set of ten cast bronze bells in the tower attic, designed for listening in the interior of the tower.
November – March
- Whole week
- 10.00 – 18.00
April – October
- Whole week
- 10.00 – 19.00
On the 10 floors of the tower there is a souvenir shop, whiskerie-café, photography exhibition "Tribute to Jindrišská Tower"and permanent exhibition of "120 towers in the Jidřišská Tower", the 7th and 8th floors include a stylish restaurant Zvonice (Belfry) with Prague's oldest bell Maria from 1518.
The tower of the late gothic style (1472 - 1476) built as a separate belfry of Italian model. After the fire in 1745 it was adapted in the baroque style and in 1870s rebuilt in a gothic style (architect Mocker). The clock on a tower with two cimbalons is dated in 1577. After the extensive reconstruction the tower was open for public in 2002. This highest separate belfry in Prague is 66 m high and has ten floors. It is possible to make a view of Prague from the corner turrets and visit here the café, the stylish resturant with a view, the exhibition and shopping premises.
Late-Gothic Jindřišská Tower is located at the Church of St. Jindřich and Kunhuta as a separately standing belfry inspired by the Italian campanillas. The original wooden belfry from the years 1472 - 1476 was located in a different place than the contemporary one.
Today’s stone belfry was built at the end of the 1570s in place of the former church cemetery. It was two storeys high, prismatic, with a high pyramidal roof and four spires. After 1648 it was used as an army watch tower, whereas it was demolished by the Swedish shooting. It was also damaged during the Prussian siege in 1757 and 1801, when its thin Gothic roof broke during a windstorm. Thorough restoration and new-Gothic reconstruction only took place in 1876 – 80 according to the projects of architect Josef Mocker; the tower even got a new slate roof. The truss made in 1879 is 32.6 m high and represents a perfect carpentry work. The tower is prismatic, lined by sandstone blocks, with two cornices, and divided into three storeys. There are clock dials on all the four sides on the gallery. The corners are terminated by octagonal spires. After the reconstruction, the belfry reached 65.7 m and thus became the highest self-standing belfry in Prague. Another reconstruction took place in the 1970s, when the stone skin and the roof were repaired.
The clocks have been installed on the tower since 1557; they were damaged in 1757, and restored during a repair in 1879. Alongside the dial, there are coloured emblems of the Old Town and the New Town and of the Bohemian lands. The tower clock was put into operation after reconstruction on the 26th March 2003.
During the bell tower’s existence, ten bells were installed in it; however, only one - coincidentally the oldest - remains. The bell “Maria”, forged in 1518 in the workshop of bellmaker Bartholomew of New Town, weighs 723 kg and has a diameter of 101 cm.
In November 2001, an in-building inside the Jindřišská Tower was initiated, which was realized upon an approval of the conservationists in such a way that it did not interfere with the original walls. A ferro-concrete construction doesn’t touch the stone walls, and yet there are now ten storeys inside the tower, with air-conditioning and modern lighting, with a staircase and a fast elevator. There is an observation point on the 10th floor offering views of the city skyline and the centre.
A restaurant named “Belfry” (Zvonice) was opened on the 7th to 9th floors, its interior being decorated with the original preserved bell St. Maria. This bell went through a reconstruction in the workshop of Petr Manoušek. The interior of the three-storied restaurant is accentuated by intact original beams of the belfry and stylish accessories made by an art-blacksmith V. Minařík.
On the occasion of the 655th anniversary of founding the New Town, Jindřišská Tower had the tower clock put into service and a memorial plaque was unveiled. It was opened for public on the 8th December 2002.
In May 2003, a carillon was installed in the attics, consisting of ten cast bronze bells. All of them bear names of their predecessors which were installed in the tower.