A Tale of Five Centuries

The first written mention of the second oldest preserved building in Jičín (after the Church of St. Ignatius), in historical sources called simply "The Tower", is found in the charter of Mikuláš Trčka of Lípa issued on 6 July 1502. The Jičín Tower was built on the dam of the Kníže pond, above the flow of the Cidlina River, which fed it with water. In 1543 it was rebuilt by Vilém Trčka of Lípa and Veliš into its present renaissance form. For the construction of the tower, the princely chamber lent 500 zl. and materials worth 148 zl. 40 kr.

The square structure of the Jičín Tower consists of stone blocks with five compartments and a tent roof covered originally with shingles and later with slate. There is a sundial on the eastern side. Inside, on the ground floor, was a pumping pressure machine powered by a water wheel, which pushed the pumped water through iron pipes to the top floor into a copper tank. From there it was then led into the town to the fountains and the castle through pine pipes connected by ironwork.

A major reconstruction of the Jičín Tower took place in 1649. In 1845, the Prague mechanic Romuald Božek repaired the pumps of the aqueduct at a cost of 196 zl. 30 kr. When in 1876 a third stone fountain was installed in Valdštejn Square behind the statue of the Holy Trinity, a new more powerful pumping machine was purchased for the waterworks at a cost of 1750 zl. The pump was purchased from the factory Frič a Macháček from Chlum nad Cidlinou. The construction of the machine required 870 zl. and the pipes for the new fountain cost 720 zl. The local savings bank contributed 1000 zl to this reconstruction. However, with the construction of a new water pipeline from Studeňany in 1907, the Jičín Tower lost its original significance. In 1993, the artist Petr Heber bought it from the town and turned it into an exhibition of his artworks. In 2013, the tower, which had fallen into disrepair, was given a new owner. Subsequently, it underwent a complete reconstruction, during which it was restored to its current form of period romantic accommodation with maximum use of original materials and restored historical furniture.

The building of the Jičín Tower is a testament to the high aesthetic level of construction of its time, the building development of the town and the technical maturity of the craft. It is an urbanistically significant building with a dominant position at the dam of the Kníže pond in the north-western part of the first protection zone of the Jičín Municipal Conservation Area. The Jičín Tower is an immovable cultural monument registered in the Central List of Cultural Monuments of the Czech Republic under the register number 45094/6-1097.

Historical depictions of the Tower Jicin