Charles Bridge in Prague

Charles Bridge in Prague

Charles Bridge is one of the most prominent symbols of this beautiful city. It connects Prague’s Castel with the Old City, both of which are the city’s main touristic sites. All year long it is full with tourists enjoying the view and a pleasant walk.

As the old story goes, the construction of the Charles bridge (Karluv most) was initiated by King Charles IV in 1357. This bridge was actually a substitute for the previous one- the Judith Bridge, built in the 12th century and badly damaged by a flood. At first, the bridge was called The Stone Bridge, after that The Bridge of Prague, up until 1970 when it was finally called The Charles Bridge.
This bridge was the only one on the river Vltava all until 1841. It connected The Castle of Prague and the Old Town across the river. Soon after it was built, it became an important trade route, because it was an important crossing between Central and Eastern Europe.
Along the bridge you can have a look at 30 Baroque statues placed along the sides of the bridge. They represent various saints and patron saints worshipped at that time. Most of them were placed in the 18th century. However, the statues that you can see on the bridge nowadays are the replicas of the originals which are exhibited in the Lapidarium building of the National Museum.

Interesting facts

  • Charles Bridge is 620 meters long 10 meters wide, resting on 16 arches. The bridge is protected by three towers, two on the Castle side and one on the Old City’s side.
  • According to the legend, the construction of this Gothic bridge started at 05:31h on the 9th of July, in 1357. It is believed that Charles IV consulted numerology and thus chose the date. These numbers form a numerical bridge 1357, 9, 7, 5:31).
  • It is believed that if you touch the statue of St John of Nepomuk it will make a wish come true. This is why the statue looks polished at parts, after being touched by countless hands over the years.
  • In 1961, when 27 leaders of anti-Habsburg revolt were executed, the Old town tower was used for displaying the heads of the beheaded rebels.

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