TOP - a recommended destination in České Budějovice
Everyone who visits České Budějovice should not miss a tour of this striking dominant feature of the city – the Black Tower. Its construction in 1550-1577 was supposed to reflect the city’s economic upswing. Led by Italian master builders, it rose to then unprecedented height of 72.25 meters. The tower doubled as a belfry and watchtower, continuously guarding the city of České Budějovice from the risk of fire. The guard who lived in the tower was tasked with cautiously watching the city and its surrounding area. Until the tower was equipped with a telephone to the fire station, the tower guard had to warn about suspicious fires or smoke by ringing the bell and exhibiting a red flag by day and a red lantern at night. The tower guard lived in the tower with his family, pulling water and everything else up to the tower using a winch, and even keeping small domestic animals in the tower: geese, rabbits, and sometimes even a goat or a sheep. The tower contains 6 bells, the largest being the Bummerin, weighing 3.5 tons. Nowadays it is among the most popular tourist destinations for the beautiful lookout from its gallery, located 46 meters above the ground. The splendid view of České Budějovice and its surroundings is definitely worth climbing the 225 mostly wooden stairs.