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The Powder Tower (Prasna Brana)

The Powder Tower (Prasna Brana) (7A)

In the space between Celetná Street and Republic Square stands the Powder Tower. It dates back to the 13th century, when in 1232 it was one of the 13 defensive towers that formed part of the walls that surrounded and protected the Old Town of Prague. It was previously known as Horska Brana – Mountain Gateway.

In 1475, King Ladislaus II ordered a new tower to be built in its place, which became one of the most important monuments of florid Gothic in Prague, the work of the architect and constructor Matías Rejsek de Prostejov. This tower has more decorative value than it has for defending the city. In reality, its purpose was to complement the nearby Royal Court Palace and be used as a representative entrance to the city. At that time, where today we admire the Municipal House – a unique example of Art Nouveau style – the Royal court stood, headquarters of the sovereigns of Bohemia from the end of the 14th century.

Construction work on the tower was stopped in 1485, when the king had to flee the city to escape from the people’s uprising, re-establishing the home of the Crown in Prague Castle, where he felt safer. Work continued eight years later on his return.

Until then it was known as the New Tower. It began to be called the Powder Tower in the 17th century, when it became a storehouse for ammunition. Its rich sculptural decoration, florid Gothic, was badly damaged during the Prussian occupation in 1757, during the reign of Maria Theresa of Austria, and was refurbished in Gothic style at the end of the 19th century.

It was not until the end of the 19th century, specifically between 1875 and 1886, that the famous Czech architect Josef Mocker began the restoration of the Powder Tower in neo-Gothic style.

It has become one of the most valuable architectural monuments for the people of Prague and also for the thousands of tourists that visit it year after year. So do not forget to take a photo beside the Powder Gateway or Tower. 

Also, after having climbed the 168 stone steps that leads us to the gallery, at a height of 65 metres, you will be rewarded with a magnificent view of what is called the “Golden City”.

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