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Leaning tower

Detail [»]

The leaning tower at the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary


Visitors are invited to climb the 194 stairs of this Domažlice tower, which leans 59 cm off its axis.
Enjoy a breathtaking view!

 

Open
1 May -30 September
May, June, September:  Tue - Sat:  10.00 a.m. - 12.00   and 1.00 -  4.00 p.m.
                                              Sun:   1.00 - 4.00 p.m.

July, August: Mo - Sat:  9.00 a.m. - 12.00 and 1.00 - 5.00 p.m.
                            Sun: 1.00 - 5.00 p.m.

ENTRANCE FEE:  50 CZK adults
                           25 CZK students, seniors, children
                          120 CZK family 2+2

 

The tower of the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary in Domažlice belongs to the unique buildings and it ranks first among the towers of the Czech towns and churches from two view points. In the region of Bohemia and apparently also of Central Europe there is no other round church tower or town tower which could amount to the Domažlice Tower with its shape. Among the town visitors it is well-known especially for its characteristic deviation from the vertical axis of 59 cm. For this feature it is often called the leaning tower. The recent research showed that the leaning of the tower appeared as early as during is construction in the first half of the 16th century.

Like other towers located in historic centres of Czech towns, also the Domažlice tower offers charaming views of the town centre with its historic buildings. In the north the town skyline is closed by the gradual rise of Baldov which is know for the historic battle of Domažlice in 1431 where the Hussites sent the crusader troops flying. The south-west and south east views are limited by the ridges of the Czech and Bavarian Forest. To the outstanding hills belong Čerchov (1042 m) on the Czech side, Javor (1456 m) on the Bavarian side and Ostrý with its characteristic outline of two steep peaks lying directly on the Czech-Bavarian boundary.

The oldest written mentions of an important border settlement Domažlice are connected with the year 993. Only in the course of the 1260s the Czech King Přemysl Otakar II. founded the fenced town near the market village Domažlice and gave the name of the village - Domažlice to it. In the centre of the fenced town the parish Church of the NMativity of the Virgin Mary was built. Constituent part of the old church were originally one or two square towers. Only after their destruction in the late 14th centruy the town council decided to build a new round tower and to carry out the general reconstruction of the church. The completion of the tower building is - according to the no longer preserved date on the gallery and on the basis of the latest research - put in the years 1540 - 1550. The first written mentiion of the Domažlice Tower is connected with the year 1523. The latest preserved picture dates from 1594.

In the course of centuries the tower was changed by repeated adaptations of the gallery and the roof. It was mostly after destructive fires, the last of them demaging the tower in 1822. From the following great reconstruction the present wooden storeys of the tower including the belfry and roof timbers are preserved. In the course of the years 1999-2000 the tower uderwent general reconstruction including expensive repair of the facade. Also the tower head was taken down and installed again. The bells in the belfry were hung here after the last fire. The best-known and biggest bell Zikmund was cast by the bell-founder Petr Pavel Perner of Plzeň in 1824. The tower adjoins the church, the north parth of which also two Gothic portals put in the west and south wall of the church remind. The present feature was given to the church during the Baroque reconstruction after the fire in 1747. It was completed in 1756 when the church was festively consecrated.

The interior of the church can be seen over from the space under the choir provided with grill. The vaults extended over the spacious navy are decorated with the fescos by the painter J.Lux of Plzen dated from the time of the completition of the Baroque reconstruction. The high altar from the strong gilded copper plate wad made by the Prague metal-beater A. Karer in 1744.