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Old town - Prague 1 Category: Guard towes

Powder Tower

GPS: 50°5'13.92"N, 14°25'40.08"E

One of the Prague’s architectural gemstone is without any doubt the Powder Gate. All tourists walking through the popular King’s Lane are usually ending here. Providing they still have some energy, they can also climb to the top of this tower. Its total height is 57.7 m.

A historical predecessor of this tower stood on this place already at the end of 13th century, even before Prague’s New Town was founded. It gradually deteriorated so that on 20th March 1475 a foundation of new tower was laid. Entrusted builder Old Town citizen Vaclav did not acquit well and so Matej Rejsek carried on the construction successfully. Political convolutions in Prague delayed the construction to the point, that it was completed long after his death.

During the early 18th century the tower was utilized as storage for gun powder. That is where the name Powder came from. Before that the tower was logically called New. In 1757 the tower was damaged by bomb attacks during the Prussian siege of Prague. So the councilors decided to cut off the valued and rich architectural décor. The tower was given further adjustments for example in 1823 when the timer with four faces was placed on its top.

In 1878 the town signed contract with architect Josef Mocker, who corrected later adjustments including the faces of the tower clock. He amended preserved décor created by Matej Rejsek and enhanced the decoration of the third floor by adding new sculptures there. The top of the tower was covered by high tent roof. Also the interiors were converted in line with the Gothic style. Powder Gate with its gateway running through the ground floor developed a representative character for the defense character already passed away.