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The origin of the bridge and its construction

The Charles bridge, which together with Prague Castle forms the main pair of most panoramic photos of Prague, is the successor of Judith Bridge, which was the first stone bridge in Bohemia and was completed in 1172, but in 1347 it was destroyed by the flood, so Charles IV. decided to build a new bridge.

Its construction began in 1357 and was led by Jan Otto. After his death, the building was headed by Petr Parléř, who was also the builder of St. Vitus in the Prague Castle. The bridge was completed in 1402, including the bridge towers on both sides (Lesser Town tower and Old Town tower). The total length of the bridge is 515.8 meters and the height of the pedestrian area above the normal surface is 13 meters. Prague, then, partly because of it, has become an even more important European business center.

 

History of Charles Bridge

The historical events that took place on this bridge include, for example, the overthrow of the dead body of St. Jana Nepomuckého  to Vltava River (placed is marked with cross), and scrimishes during the siege by the Swedes at the end of the Thirty Years’ War. The bridge was also damaged twice during the flood. It happened between 1784 and 1890.

Sculptural decoration

The statues on the Charles Bridge come mainly from the years 1707-1714. Some were added later and other replaced. The most precious sculpture is the depiction of St. Luigarda by Bernard Braun. Another creator of the statues was F. M. Brokoff. In the second period, when statues were arranged in the middle of 19th century, the main creators were Jan and Emanuel Max. Today most statues are replaced by exact replicas. Originals are stored in Vyšehrad and in Holešovice Lapidarium.

Traffic history

Today bridge serves only as the pedestrian bridge, but imagine that before the Second World War, cars, trams and horse-drawn wagons were all over the bridge. Since 1965, transport has been forbidden. So just on foot! 😊 Charles Bridge can’t be miss by any touris…


Charles Bridge

Karlův most, 110 00 Praha 1, Czechia
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