Charles Bridge (Karlův most) is a historic bridge in Prague, Czech Republic, crossing the Vltava River. Its building began in 1357 under the rule of King Charles IV and was completed in the early 15th century. The bridge substituted the ancient Judith Bridge constructed in 1158–1172, which was severely damaged in 1342 by a flood.
- Name: Charles Bridge
- Location: Prague, Czech Republic
- Built 15th century
- Type of attraction: Architectural/Bridge
- Ticket price: Free
Originally, people called this new bridge Stone Bridge (Kamenný Most) or Prague Bridge (Pražský Most), but since 1870 it has been named as “Charles Bridge.”
The reason Charles Bridge is famous is its importance from the day one it was built. It was the most significant link between Prague Castle and the Old Town and neighboring regions of the city as the only way to cross the river Vltava until 1841 thus making Prague an important city at the time.
There is a tower on each ends of the bridge. Climbers will get a bird’s eye view of Prague and the bridge from the Staromstská v on the Old Town end and the Malostranská v on the Malá Strana end.
In the 17th century, a total of 30 Baroque statues were erected alongside Charles Bridge. Many of them are now copies, with the originals on display at the Lapidarium.
The most famous statue is possibly that of St. John of Nepomuk, a Czech martyr saint who was executed by being thrown into the Vltava from the bridge during the reign of Wenceslas IV.
Countless people have touched the plaque on the statue over the years, polishing it to a gleam. It is said that touching the statue would bring you good luck and guarantee your return to Prague.
The bridge is very lively place, not only because of all pedestrians passing across the river, but due to many artists and performers showing their artworks and playing music or run the puppets.
The bridge offers great photo opportunity throughout the day and during the night, as it is lit nicely and it is postcard worthy.
Interesting facts about Charles Bridge
Here are some interesting facts about this amazing bridge:;
- The bridge is known as Charles Bridge only since 19th century.
- There is a numerical palindrome 135797531 carved on to the Old Town Bridge Tower that represents exact date and time of laying foundation for the bridge.
- The first monument to be built on the bridge was a bronze crucifix Statuary of St. Cross with Calvary that dates back to 17th century.