Prašná brána (Powder Keg Tower): Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC
Prašná brána (in English, the Powder Keg Tower) is an impressive tower situated right next to the Municipal House (where the Smetana Hall is located) where I was performing last month as part of the Prague Spring Festival. It is a Gothic era tower that is now completely surrounded by the more modern buildings all around... and with modern automobiles passing under it's arches instead of the horses that would have originally been its main traffic when it was first built!
Actually, I'm quite surprised that traffic is allowed to pass under such an old and historically important structure as it would only take one little accident to severely damage an important monument of the city's history!
So, unsurprisingly enough... the Prašná brána was originally designed and constructed the 15th century as one of the 13th entrance gates to the city, but it was also intended to be the most impressive looking one, to serve as the main entrance. The Municipal House right next door was also intended to be the residence of King Vladislav II.
Later in its life (the 17th century), the tower was used to house gunpowder which gave the tower its current name, which replaced the original name of "New Tower".
It has long served a ceremonial purpose as the starting point for the coronation processions of the past Bohemian rulers. Although the gate originally marked one of the edges of the city of Prague, the wider city has long outgrown the original gates and walls. In fact, very little of the original city walls now exist in the surrounding area. However, it does still contain the tourist area of Prague known as the Old City.
It is possible to go into the tower, there is an entrance cost... however, for this particular visit to Prague, I didn't have the time to do the visit and climb. I'm not even sure that it was open for the climb during these pandemic times!
As always, the best photos of these historical landmarks are at night... when they are lighted up professionally, they look quite stunning in the old majesty!
Just for reference, the address of the tower is: Republiky 5, 110 00 Staré Město, Czechia. The Map seems to have real issues with Czech locations!