When you walk through the Powder Tower, stop and take a look. You will see masterly sculptures along the two floors of this late Gothic building. Do you know who they represent? If the exterior architectural details are not enough for you, go inside the Powder Tower. The original spiral staircase and the views of Prague from the bird’s eye are worth it.
Figures from the Czech history
The sculptures on the first floor of the Powder Tower represent the Czech Kings and the lands they ruled (George of Poděbrady, Vladislav II, Přemysl Otakar II, and Charles IV). On the second floor, there are the statues of the Czech patrons and saints. At the top, up at the embattlement, there are crests of the Czech royal towns. If you enter the net vault from Celetná Street, you can see the statues of Adam and Eve and St. Peter and Paul on the façade.
Why the Powder Tower?
The towers that used to stand on the site of the Powder Tower had many names. The oldest one, St. Ambrose’s Tower, was part of the Old Town city walls. In the first half of the 13th century, it was replaced by the Mining Tower which led to the mining town of Kutná Hora. When the New Town was built, the city walls lost their purpose and dilapidated for years. The Mining Tower started to be called the Tattered Tower – which didn’t sound good to the inhabitants of the neighbouring King’s Court (the Municipal Hall today), the former seat of the King.
The construction of the late Gothic 42m New Tower began in the second half of the 15th century. But when the King moved to the Prague Castle, the Old Town councillors lost interest in the tower. From the 18th century, the unfinished New Tower served as a gunpowder warehouse, hence its new name.
Take a look from the height of 44 metres
The Powder Tower was reconstructed in the late 19th century. Thanks to the Neo-Gothic design by the architect Josef Mockner, it has the roof with typical turrets and the accessible gallery. The Powder Tower is 65 tall and lets you view the city from the height of 44 meters. It’s open to the public even on holidays for the basic entrance fee of CZK 90. After you climb the spiral staircase with 186 stairs, you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful view of historic Prague.
Follow the footsteps of the Czech Kings
When you walk through the Powder Tower from Náměstí Republiky Square, you’ll find yourself at the beginning of the so-called Royal Route. From there, the future Czech Kings went to their coronation, and eminent ambassadors and foreign visitors started their way to the Prague Castle. In the 15-19th century, this historic Old Town route was also used for processions and funeral marches. Stroll from the Powder Tower to the Prague Castle like the greatest personalities of their time and watch out for the greatest sights.
The Royal Route:
The Powder Tower – Celetná Street – Old Town Square – Old Town Hall – Lesser Square – Karlova Street – Klementinum – Křižovnické Square – Charles Bridge – Mostecká Street – Malostranské Square – Nerudova Street – Ke Hradu Street – Hradčanské Square – Prague Castle – St Vitus, Wenceslas and Adalbert’s Cathedral
How to get there
The Powder Tower is one of the landmarks of Náměstí Republiky Square and you can get there by tram, bus or underground. You can also walk from Wenceslas Square along Na Příkopě Street, or from Old Town Square along Celetná Street. From the Vltava River waterfront, you can walk along the Revoluční Street.