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Daliborka - a former Prague Castle dungeon


You can see the rounded artillery tower Daliborka rise above the Deer Moat, by the Prague Castle. It used to be a prison and it got its name after the legendary Knight Dalibor of Kozojedy, who was imprisoned there at the end of the 15 th century.

The Dalibor Tower was built as a part of the Prague Castle fortification by Benedikt Ried in 1496. This date can be seen written on the tower.

Legend about Knight Dalibor of Kozojedy

The Knight Dalibor of Kozojedy was probably the first prisoner in Daliborka in 1498. He was waiting for the punishment for adopting rebellious liege people of the Knight Adam Ploskovsky of Drahonice. While in prison, Dalibor asked for a violin to while away the time, and during his long stay in the tower he learned to play it. Rumours about the beautiful sad melodies he played have soon spread among Prague citizens. They used to gather under the tower to listen and they even brought him food. After a long time he spent in the prison, Dalibor of Kozojedy was executed above the Old Castle Staircase at the Prague Castle. There is an opera Dalibor about him composed by Bedrich Smetana in the 19 th century, and also a Czech saying The distress taught Dalibor to play.

Dungeon in the Daliborka Tower

The Dalibor Tower was used as a prison till 1781. It used to be taller originally, but after a fire it was lowered and became a five-storey tower. There is a basement with four cells and a cross vault. A dungeon is located underneath, it is accessible through a hole in the floor. The prisoners used to be lowered there by a pulley, which can be seen there. The dungeon wall is 2.6 metres massive. Another prison room is located under the dungeon.

A visit to Daliborka Tower is a part of the sightseeing tour of the Prague Castle.


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