The 65-metre high Powder Tower, located at the edge of Republic Square and Na Příkopě Street, is undoubtedly Prague’s most significant gate. Perhaps every tourist is fascinated by its sculptural adornments: there are statues of George of Poděbrady, Charles IV and other significant rulers, with angels flying above them. The coronation processions of Bohemian kings used to pass through the gate. The originally Gothic Powder Tower represents a mixture of architectural styles and its name is derived from the fact that it was once used to store gunpowder.
Useful information for visitors
Public transport connections
Opening hours and admission
The Powder Tower is open every day. For up-to-date information about opening hours and admission fees, visit www.muzeumprahy.cz/prasna-brana.
The viewing gallery, which offers a beautiful view of Prague, is located at a height of 44 metres and it takes 186 stairs to get to the top.
Interesting facts about Powder Tower
The foundation stone of the Powder Tower was laid, in the place where the Mountain Gate used to stand, in 1475. It was built by architects Václav and Matěj Rejsek. Matěj Rejsek is the one responsible for the extraordinary sculptural adornments. The Powder Tower is adorned with sculptures of the Bohemian lion, different significant rulers and Czech patron saints as well as with coats of arms of royal towns.
The Powder Tower used to be connected with a fortification bridge which was, however, backfilled and thus ceased to exit. In 1488, the tower was left unfinished and only more than a hundred years later new construction work began, when the spiral staircase and new entrance were built. It acquired its present-day name in the 18th century, when gunpowder was stored there. From that time, it was nicknamed by people as the New Gate. The tower underwent several reconstructions: severe damage was caused by the bullets of Prussian soldiers and in 1817 the destroyed adornments had to be even removed. A clock was placed on the tower for some time, but it was removed soon.
Nowadays, the Powder Tower is 65 metres high. It acquired its present-day appearance between 1878 and 1886; architect Josef Mocker carried out pseudo-Gothic purist alterations, being inspired by the Old Town Bridge Tower. He built a new roof with corner towers and completed the original adornments designed by Rejsek.