Powder Tower was built under the reign of King Vladislav II Jagiello as a ceremonial entrance to the city in order to contribute to the beauty of the Royal Court, but was left unfinished after the king moved from there to Prague Castle in 1483. The construction of the 65m-tall Powder Tower begun in 1475 on the site of one of Staré Město’s (Old Town) original 13 gates. The kings of Bohemia used to enter the town through this gate on their coronation parade.
Together with the Old Town Bridge Tower, the Powder Tower is the only existing part of the former Prague Old Town fortification. In the 19th century the architect Josef Mocker rebuilt, redesigned and decorated the tower giving it a neo-Gothic look. The gate acquired its name in the 18th century when it was used to store gunpowder. To this day, there are many decorations on the tower, such as statues of Bohemian kings, patrons and saints.
There are 186 stairs in the spiral staircase as well as the gallery which is 44 meters high and accessible to public. There is an interesting permanent exhibition on Prague towers inside and the gallery provides a spectacular view from the top. Ever since the structure was used as a gunpowder storage space in the seventeenth century, it has been known as the ‘Powder’ Tower.
Another Powder Tower
Another, less famous tower that also bears the name Powder Tower can be found at the Prague Castle. It was once the workshop of alchemists who tried to turn lead into gold.
In 1967-80 tower became a museum with exhibits relating to Jaros’s bell foundry and the alchemy practices during the reign of Rudolf II. The name Mihulka was first used in the 19th century. Previously, the tower was known as the New Tower, Round Bastion, Laboratorium or Swedish Laboratorium and Powder Tower. Now Mihulka Powder Tower hosts exhibition of Military History Institute.
Location: Namesti Republiky, 5 | Stare Mesto, Prague
Nearby hotels: Design Hotel Jewel Prague, Hotel Residence Agnes, Golden Well Hotel
Nearby sights: Municipal House Hall, NamEsti Republiky, Lobkowicz Palace
Official website: http://www.muzeumprahy.cz/199-prasna-brana/
Tel.: 420 725847875