Powder Tower and the Municipal House
The Powder Tower is a place, where two important streets of Prague cross – Celetná Street and Na Příkopě Street – and a remarkable square starts – Republic Square. It´s 65m high and allows all the tourists to see the beauty of the Old Town.
Before today´s tower stood here, an older gateway called Horská and later Odraná had been built there in the 13th century. At that time it was a part of the town´s fortification but after foundation of the New Town (Nové Město) by Charles IV, it lost its purpose. The late Gothic structure was built on the mentioned tower in the second half of the 15th century by Matěj Rejsek. In the 16th century, a new stairs and entrance were constructed, but while the Prussian army besieged Prague in 1757, the tower was damaged. So was Rejsek´s decoration. The appearance we can see today the Powder Tower gained in 80s in the 19th century, when it underwent a reconstruction according to the architect Josef Mocker´s proposal.
The tower is a part of the Royal Route. The kings used to start here their coronation processions before the coronation itself. The Powder Tower also used to be an end of the famous route from Kutná Hora, where the silver for the royal coffers was mined.
The name Powder Tower refers to a gunpowder store that was located here in the 18th century. You can find the statues of George of Poděbrady, Vladislav II Jagellonsky, Charles IV and Přemysl Otakar II on the façade.
At the bottom of the Powder Tower is also located our meeting point, where you can meet our instructors, who give you information you need to know about the tours we offer.[one_half last=”no”][pro_ad_display_adzone id=”4″][/one_half][one_half last=”yes”][pro_ad_display_adzone id=”3″][/one_half]As for the Municipal House, it lies next to the Powder Tower and is remarkable especially for its design – the house was designed by A. Balšánek and O. Polívka in Art Nouveau style that is not as typical for Prague as another styles. The Municipal House was erected between 1905 and 1911 on the previous royal residence from the 14th century, which has been abandoned for a long time. On the façade you can see stuccos and allegorical statues. There is admirable mosaic by Karel Špilar Tribute to Prague above the entrance. Inside the house you can find decorations created by the famous 20th century Czech artists as A. Mucha, M. Aleš, L. Šaloun or M. Švabinský.
The Municipal House has always been used for important occasions and events and usually has taken place in the monumental Smetana Room. Everyone should know the main event that was held here – the Declaration of Independence of Czechoslovakia on the 28th October 1918.
If you would rather take a rest, you can visit a café and restaurant, which are situated here, all in Art Nouveau style.