Prague Boats

Prague Castle – Daliborka Tower – a Legendary Prison

Have you noticed on your tour through the Castle a cylindrical tower? Would you like to know something about it? Excellent, you have come to the right place. It is a gun tower which forms a part of the Prague Castle fortification in the east. Let’s have a look inside the building whose height reaches over twenty metres.

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Some introductory information: pha1-prazsky-hrad-daliborka0410
The tower was built in 1496 at the command of Vladislav Jagellon(czech: Vladislav Jagellonský) as a part of the fortification of the castle premises. In 1781 the tower burned down and due to fire damages it was reduced by one floor the following year. Since 1883 the tower has been open to public.

Why Daliborka?
The tower takes its name after its first prisoner, the Knight Dalibor of Kozojedy. A prisoner, you say? Yes indeed, the tower was used as a prison from its very establishment. The area designed for cells was separated by wooden partitions and even heated. Less serious culprits were imprisoned on higher floors. The prison also had a dungeon for especially tough criminals, which was situated in the basement. Another famous prisoner was the zealous patron of art, the Count Franz Anton from Sporck who had, among others, a merit in the introduction of French horn in Bohemia.

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pha1-prazsky-hrad-daliborka002 The legend about the most famous prisoner:
The best-known prisoner confined in Daliborka Tower was the above mentioned Knight, Dalibor of

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 Kozojedy. His imprisonment is narrated in many legends. Well, let’s start from the beginning. In 1496 rising of serfs broke out in Litomerice region. Armed vassals captured the stronghold of their master Adam Ploskovsky of Drahonice and under the threat of death made him release them from the serfdom. Then these rebels settled at the estate of Dalibor of Kozojedy. According to the court, providing this refuge was a very serious crime. Dalibor was put in a strict prison in the tower and condemned to death by decapitation. The sentence was then executed in the yard in front of the Daliborka Tower.

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The legend also says that Dalibor learned to play violin in his cell. His music could be heard around the Castle and it reminded everyone that Dalibor had been imprisoned unjustly. This story was used in the opera Dalibor, written by the Czech composer Bedřich Smetana.

Specialities: pha1-prazsky-hrad-daliborka001
The wall of the tower bears the coat-of-arms of Vladislav Jagellon and also the date when the tower construction was finished. Nowadays the Daliborka Tower is open to public. The entrance is at the eastern end of the Golden Lane.

Adress:
Prague Castle (Pražský hrad)
119 08 Prague 1

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GPS: Loc: 50°5′23.591″N, 14°23′59.79″E

Public transport:
tram: number 1,8,15,18,20,22,26,
subway station , underground stop  –  Line A – Malostranská

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