One of the most significant landmarks of the Old Town is the Powder Tower. This neo gothic tower opens up Celetná Street – the former starting point of the crown road of Czech kings. But how old is this gate really?
The story of the Powder Tower started in the 15th century. After construction of the New Town of Prague (by Charles IV in the 2nd half of 14th century) the inner fortification became almost useless, therefore the gate, which used to stand there quickly deteriorated. This situation became very shameful, especially when king Wladislau of Jagellons moved from the Prague Castle to his royal residence, which was right next to this gate.
The city council decided to take this tower down and replace it with a more representative tower. The construction of the new one started in the year 1475 and was led by skilled architect Matěj Rejsek. Foundations were laid 9 meters below the ground to be able to hold the 42 meter-tall tower. However, construction was never finished. This was because the king moved back to Prague Castle in 1483, at which time the city council lost their motivation to continue. They placed a temporary roof on top but the tower had no purpose and started deteriorating. In the 18th century was the tower used as store for gunpowder (which gave rise to the name Powder tower). The current look was given to the tower during neo-gothic restoration between 1878-1886. Old Town Bridge Tower was used as an inspiration for the new neo-gothic look.
Nowadays the Powder Tower is open to the public and you can visit its interior as well admire panoramic views of Prague from the very top.
Powder Tower Info:
Address: Náměstí Republiky 5, Prague
Map.Ref.: 50.0872650, 14.4277814
November to February: 10am-6pm
Entry fee: 90 CZK adult, 65 CZK discounted, 250 CZK family ticket