PRAŠNÝ MOST (POWDER BRIDGE)

Prague 1, Town of Hradčany

Prague Castle - U Prašného mostu street

Demolished Renaissance bridge, pillars of the original bridge construction are marked in contemporary pavement.

The bridge and adjacent defence walls are indicated in the paving, marking the perished masonry.

With the Habsburg accession to the Bohemian throne after the Battle of Mohács (1526), Prague Castle was extensively reconstructed into a Renaissance residence which was most reflected in the adaptation of the adjacent area behind the Brusnice Stream. The medieval castle did not correspond to the demands of the sovereign court at that time. After 1534, an extensive garden was built above the Brusnice Stream which was equipped with sumptuous and special-purpose structures. The Royal Summer Palace was the first, followed by the orangery and fig house, and following the garden reconstruction after a big fire also the Small and Big Ball Games Hall. In the second half of the 1530s, an imposing bridge was built over the distinctive terrain groove of the Brusnice Stream that separated the castle compound from the newly established gardens. Five stone piers, which were connected with a two-storeyed wooden corridor, supported the bridge. After the disastrous fire of the Lesser Town and Hradčany in 1541 which devastated the majority of the local housing development, the bridge was reconstructed with a slightly different look. Following the reconstruction of the castle compound and its vicinity during the reign of Maria Theresa, the bridge was replaced or rather engulfed by a huge bulwark in the third quarter of the 18th century.

Formed by five marlstone rectangular piers which were 2–2.8 metres wide and nearly 6 metres long, the bridge structure survived in the bulwark until 1987. In connection with the construction of the collector system between the president’s residence and its technical facilities over Jelení příkop (Deer Ditch), the bulwark with the remaining bridge piers was lowered by five metres. This lowering disposed of the upper part of the Renaissance piers which reached up to the roadway. The tallest pier was at least 30 metres tall. In addition to the piers, during demolition archaeologists discovered fragments of two gates and the enclosing wall of the former Royal Garden on the northern border of Jelení příkop (Deer Ditch). The exceptional bridge and adjacent defence walls are indicated in the paving, marking the perished masonry.

Datum vložení: 21.1.2019 | Datum aktualizace: 31.8.2020
Autor: Ivana Boháčová

Použité prameny:
  • Blažková, G. 2011: Průchod pod Prašným mostem. Archeologie nejmladší minulosti Pražského hradu. In: P. Vařeka ed., Archeologie 19. a 20. století. Přístupy – metody – témata, Plzeň, 79–90.
  • Boháčová, I. 1989: Prašný most. Pražský sborník historický 22, 167–168.
  • Frolík, J. – Boháčová, I. 1992: Archeologický výzkum Pražského hradu v 80. letech. Staletá Praha 22, 71–88.
  • Tomek, V. V. 1892: Mappy staré Prahy k letům 1200, 1348 a 1490. Praha.