Charles Bridge Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge is one of the finest attractions in Prague. It is the main pedestrian route connecting the Old Town with the Lesser Town and Prague Castle. The Bridge was built by Petr Parler who also designed the St. Vitus Cathedral  at  the Prague Castle, by the order of King Charles IV in the year 1357. Originally it was called Stone Bridge or Prague Bridge, the name Charles Bridge was established around 1870. It is about 515 metres long and 9.5 metres wide and it is said that egg yolks were mixed into the mortar to strengthen the construction of the bridge.
The Charles Bridge has towers on both ends:
  • The Old Town Bridge Tower was built by Petr Parler. It is adorned with statues of Charles IV., Wenceslas IV. and St. Vitus in the lower part and St. Procopius and St. Sigismund in the upper part. It is one of the most beautiful Gothic towers in Europe.
  • The Lesser Town end of the Charles Bridge has two bridge towers on. The smaller one was a part of the Judith Bridge originally. It was rebuilt in Renaissance style and lowered in 1591, after a fire. The bigger tower was built in the 15th century and inspired by the Old Town Bridge Tower. The gateway between the two bridge towers is from the 15 th century as well.
In the 17th century a lot of baroque statues began to be placed along either side of the Bridge. Now many of them are copies because floods and catastrophes over the centuries damaged the originals; some of the originals can be seen in the Lapidarium (Prague Museums). The most popular statue is the one of St. John of Nepomuk, a Czech martyr saint who was executed during the reign of Wenceslas IV by  being  thrown  into  the Vltava  from  the  bridge. The  plaque on the statue has been polished to a shine by countless people having touched it over the centuries. Touching the statue is supposed to bring good luck and ensure your return to Prague.
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Charles Bridge is on the most popular destinations in Prague, it definitely worths a visit. There can be found many musicians, Czech artists and souvenir vendors whose stands line both sides of the bridge year-round. A great time of day to come to the bridge is at sunset when one can enjoy a breathtaking view of the fully lit Prague Castle against the evening sky.
Currently, the bridge is a pedestrian zone (although both tram and car traffic were allowed there) and is always filled with locals and tourists.
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