Karlův most, 110 00 Praha 1, Czech Republic
GPS: 50.087214539148, 14.411996483432
Icon of the city of Prague, Charles Bridge was built from 1357 by Charles IV, King of Bohemia and German-Roman Emperor. It is intended to replace the old Judith Bridge built in the 12th century and heavily damaged by floods in the spring of 1342 when the snow melted. It is the ancient Ponte Sant’Angelo of Rome, built in the first half of the 2nd century and decorated with about ten angel statues, which was chosen to serve as a model for the medieval bridge in Prague. It took 15 years of study and preparatory work before the new bridge was erected in the early 15th century. For more than 400 years, Charles Bridge remained the only way to cross the Vltava River, the most important river in the Czech Republic (it originates in the mountain range of the Bohemian Forest). It remains the second oldest bridge in the country and played an important role on European trade routes.
Also known as Karlův most in Czech, and called Stone Bridge until 1870, Charles Bridge was finally renamed in honour of its founder. The oldest bridge in Prague, it connects over 515 metres long and 9.5 metres wide Prague’s Old Town (Staré Město) with the Lesser Town (Malá Strana) on the left bank of the Vlatava River. It is dominated by the Prague Castle, a 9th-century fortified complex which served as the political seat of various kingdoms and republics in the region (dukes and kings of Bohemia, emperors of the Holy Roman Empire and presidential regimes of Czechoslovakia and later the Czech Republic). Of the 14 structures now spanning the Vltava River, Charles Bridge retains the best location and a breathtaking view of the city’s historical and cultural heritage.
A place of inspiration and artistic creation, Charles Bridge attracts many artists, photographers, poets, musicians, caricaturists and painters every day, who come from all over the world to walk along it (car traffic has been banned since 1965). This Gothic jewel is decorated with some thirty statues and sculptural ensembles, most of which are Baroque in style. They depict religious saints lining each side of the bridge at regular intervals. The oldest is the bronze statue of John of Nepomuk (end of the 17th century) which would bring luck and happiness to all those who would touch it.