Powder Tower and the Municipal House

Powder Tower (Prasna brana)

The Powder Tower

Originally a Gothic city gateway that was part of the fortifications of the Old Town (Stare Mesto). The tower's significance grew at the end of the 14th century, when, on the site where the Municipal House (Obecni dum) stands today, Wenceslas IV had a complex of courtyards constructed in its vicinity, enabling monarchs to enter the city. The tower thus became the starting point of coronation processions.

In 1475 Matej Rejsek enhanced its appearance with a radical reconstruction. It was given its current name in the 17th century, when the tower served as a storage facility for gunpowder. It was severely damaged during the Prussian siege of 1757, losing practically all of its sculptural adornments.

In the 1880's Josef Mocker rebuilt it in the spirit of Neo-Gothic purism. It now stands 65 m tall. 186 stone steps lead to a gallery that offers an incredible view of the city. Inside there is a permanent exhibition of Prague's towers as well as a collection of photographs by Ladislav Sitensky. Open daily from 10:00 to 18:00.

http://www.pis.cz

Municipal House (Obecni dum)

The Municipal House

Antonín Balsanek and Osvald Polivka designed this eclectic building, which features Secessionist elements and was built in 1905 – 1911. Smaller halls and lounges with a wealth of Eclecticist and Secessionist decorations, as well as exhibition halls, a restaurant, confectioner's, café, and bar surround its large concert hall.

The central Mayor's Hall features paintings by Alfons Mucha, and the exterior and interior of the Municipal House contain the works of other eminent artists of Mucha's generation (including painters Mikolas Ales, Vaclav Jansa, Jakub Obrovsky, Jan Preisler, Josef Wenig, Karel Spillar, Max Svabinsky, Frantisek Zenisek, sculptors Josef Maratka, Josef Vaclav Myslbek, Ladislav Saloun, Bohumil Kafka, and Cenek Vosmik). Also noteworthy is the quantity of original Secessionist elements and details.

In the basement there is an information centre where publications and tickets for exhibitions, concerts and social events can be purchased. Guided tours can be ordered here as well. Information about current programs is available at:

Tel.: + 420 222 002 101, http://www.obecnidum.cz

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