The Watchtower is one of the most interesting sights of the historic centre of the town. Elderly inhabitants of Rožňava even nowadays claim there are only three significant towers in the world: those of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and the Watchtower in Rožňava.
Origins of the tower date back to one of the most tumultuous periods in the history of Rožňava, the mid 17th century (1643). The town`s Renaissance watchtower was built on the site of an earlier Gothic building in the period of the Turkish threat in 1643 – 1654 (Georgius Gerscheuer and Daniel Mosszen). In 1766, the original tower burnt out and after the fire its upper Renaissance part was replaced by a Baroque wooden gallery and a shingle helmet-like roof.
Modified several times, the tower fulfilled an important function, which fact is witnessed by the loopholepreserved in its eastern wall and a Turkish cannonball in the southern facade. Close to the cannonball, there is a Renaissance stone board showing the historical form of the town`s coat-of-arms from the period when the tower was constructed.
In 1997, the building was renovated and open to the public as a look-out tower. The Watchtower is 38 m high. After climbing the 144 steps, the visitors may enjoy a beautiful view of Rožňava nestled like a “penny in a hat” of the surrounding hills. Walking around the tower’s gallery in the height of 28 metres, we can time travel for a while to the late 19th century, when there were guards in the room behind the gallery, the public control of which was ensured by a clever device consisting of a tower bell with a long rope connected to a lever located at the Town Hall gate.
The tower has gradually become a symbol of the town. It is popular among local artists and appears on tens of postcards of Rožňava.
Source: TIC Rožňava