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White Tower with dark history at the Prague Castle

The originally artillery tower became a dark dungeon during the reign of Rudolph II. It is situated at the west end of the Golden Lane at the Prague Castle.

Dungeon in the White Tower

The White Tower was built at the end of the 15 th century and fundamentally rebuilt in the Renaissance era. It became a prison in 1585, instead of the original Romanesque White Tower. There used to be a torture chamber in the ground floor, a dungeon accessible through a hole in the floor was underneath, and even another prison room was underneath that. There are some drawings and writings kept on the walls of the upper rooms of the tower, mostly from the 16 th century.

Famous prisoners in the White Tower

The prison in the White Tower was intended for the noblemen, so there were some important personalities among prisoners: the English alchemist and charlatan Edward Kelley, or the emperorīs chief chamberlain Filip Lang and his successor Kaspar Rudzky, who became famous for pocketing emperorīs money.

The cruel murderer Katerina Bechynova of Lazany, who killed 14 people, was also imprisoned there in 1534. She died in the tower before the death penalty was executed.

Estates Rebellion leaders jailed in the White Tower

In 1618, the Thirty Yearsī War started with the rebellion of Czech Protestant nobles against the Emperor Matthias. However, the Protestants were defeated at the battle of White Mountain in Prague in 1620. Twenty seven leaders of the rebellion were jailed in the White Tower to wait for the punishment. After several months, they were all executed at the Prague Old Town Square.

The White Tower was used as a prison till the 18 th century, then it became a storage. In 1942, some employees of the Prague Castle were moved there, because their homes were occupied by the Nazi protectorate officers. The last of them left the tower in 1954 and the White Tower was restored then.

Copyright © cestovni agentura Martin Muller - Prague, 2000-2013