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Saturday 3 December 2011

Muscular Powder vs. Feminine Powder

When I first saw the name 'Powder Gate' or 'Powder Tower', I thought the word 'powder' in its name refers to the more feminine cosmetic stuff. I imagined it was a tower where the princesses would put on their makeup and peep through the tower windows to spot any young and handsome looking guy on the streets. After reading more on the details, only did I realise that its name was derived from the gunpowder that it stored during the 17th century. What a drastic shift from my wild imagination!

Its construction began in 1475 under the commission of King Vladislav II Jagiello. It was left unfinished when the royal family decided to move from the neighbouring Royal Court to Prague Castle in 1488. Construction resumed in 1592 and it was not until the construction from 1875 to 1886 that it took its present shape, which is a resemblence of the eastern tower of Charles Bridge.

Being one of the thirteen gates to the city of Prague, it retained its importance to the Bohemian kings until 1836 as every monarch would pass through this gate on his way to St. Vitus Cathedral for his coronation. Today, this 65-metre high tower serves as a high vantage point to watch the happenings in the Old Town of Prague.

The tower is adorned with statues of the Bohemian kings, patrons and saints. If you have the passion, it is not too bad a thing to stand on the street and identify each and every one of them.

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