In 1516, the owner of the manor, Lorenz Glatz, left a last will and testament where he assigned his daughter Anna and her husband Šebestián from Veitmille to build a tower near the church in Jirkov. 32 years later, the church was renovated into the look that it has today. After two years, the foundation stones of the tower were laid down at the northern side of the church. The construction took five years, from 1540 until 1545. It was opened in 1582. The tower was originally designed for defence and protection – to detect fire and attack by foreign armies. In 1640, the first bell was installed in the tower.
At least once in the century, the church and the tower or its onion-domed cupola were being repaired. During the repairs, the turret was removed and opened at the town hall. On that occasion, additional items and documents were added to the previous ones. In 1844, a new golden cupola with a pennon was attached to the tower, a replica of the one dated 1582. It was struck by lightning in 1855. Therefore, it was removed and stored at the town hall (since 1882). There has been a modern lightning conductor instead of the pennon ever since. A Prague clockmaker, named Sommerrucher, installed the clock at the tower in 1862. Another major reconstruction of the tower began in 1909. On 21 October 1916, starting at noon, the tower bells were rung for a whole hour to honour all war victims (including the future victims). Then they were removed to be melted and used as material for weapons.
The last but one reconstruction was in 1992. The cupola was removed again, the documents cataloged and some new materials were added. The tower was last repaired in the winter and spring of the year 2003. The repair work was co-financed by the city of Jirkov and by the Phare programme. Since 2003, the City Tower has been opened to the public: it is a lookout point and an exhibition venue as well.
The City Tower is 29 meters high, the walls are built of stone (the higher they are, the narrower they are). At the terraces, they are made of bricks and reinforced by pillars. A spiral stairway goes up from the first floor. The tower has six floors; the belfry is on the fifth floor. The space under the first floor is connected with the church of St. John. It is used by the deanery and it is inaccessible from outside.
There is a carving of the City of Jirkov emblem at the northern wall of the tower.
The clerks in the Information Centre on Kostelní Street will let you enter the City Tower.
|Tuesday – Friday||10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.|
|Saturday, Sunday||10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.|
|Children, students, seniors and disabled||20 CZK|