Charles Bridge, Prague

Charles Bridge, Prague (must see)

The Charles Bridge (Karlův most) is a famous historic bridge that crosses the Vltava (Moldau) river in Prague. Its construction started in 1357 under the auspices of King Charles IV, and was completed 45 years later in 1402. A legend has it that the construction began precisely at 5:31am on 9 July 1357 with the first stone being laid by Charles IV himself. This exact time was very important to the Holy Roman Emperor as he was a strong believer in numerology and felt that this specific time, which formed a palindrome (1357 9, 7 5:31), was a numerical bridge, and would imbue Charles Bridge with additional strength.

As the only means of crossing the Vltava, standing 516 meters long, nearly 10 meters wide, and resting on 16 arches shielded by ice guards, the Charles Bridge had been the most important connection between the Old Town, Prague Castle and the adjacent areas until 1841.

The bridge was originally called the Stone Bridge (Kamenný most) or the Prague Bridge (Pražský most) but has been known as "Charles Bridge" ever since 1870.

In the early 20th century, the bridge saw a steep rise in heavy traffic. On 15 May 1905, the horse line on the bridge was replaced with an electric tram and later, in 1908, with buses. All vehicular traffic has been excluded from the Charles Bridge since 1978, making it pedestrian-only.

The avenue of 30 mostly baroque statues and statuaries situated on the balustrade forms a unique connection of artistic styles with the underlying Gothic bridge. Most sculptures here, depicting various saints and patron saints venerated at the time, were erected between 1683 and 1714. As of 1965, all of the statues have been systematically replaced with replicas, while the originals have been exhibited in the Lapidarium of the National Museum.

Why You Should Visit:
For a picturesque panorama of the Prague riverside.
A chance to step back in time, into the 15th century.

Tips:
Come early in the morning or late in the evening if you need more space, as this place is usually packed with tourists!
If you decide to walk across the bridge, take the time to also visit the nearby John Lennon wall.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Prague. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Charles Bridge on Map

Sight Name: Charles Bridge
Sight Location: Prague, Czech Republic (See walking tours in Prague)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Prague, Czech Republic

Create Your Own Walk in Prague

Create Your Own Walk in Prague

Creating your own self-guided walk in Prague is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Old Town Walking Tour

Old Town Walking Tour

The Old Town (Czech: Staré Město) is a medieval settlement of Prague, once separated from the outside by a semi-circular moat and wall, hugged by the Vltava river. The moat is now covered up by streets, which remain the official boundary of the cadastral district of Old Town. Notable places within the Old Town include Old Town Square, Astronomical Clock, Kinsky Palace and more. Take this...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
New Town Walking Tour

New Town Walking Tour

The youngest (established 1348) and the largest (three times the size of the Old Town), the New Town (Nove Mesto) of Prague is one of the five originally independent townships that today form the historic center of the Czech capital. Steeped in history, the district is traditionally dense with tourists.

Among the attractions found here there are Dancing House (named so for resembling a pair of...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Prague Introduction Walking Tour

Prague Introduction Walking Tour

Nicknamed “the City of a Hundred Spires,” Prague is home to a wealth of attractions, including more than ten major museums, numerous theatres, galleries, and plethora of historic sights.

The Czech name Praha derives from an old Slavic word práh, which means "ford" or "rapid", referring to the city's origin at a crossing point of the Vltava river. The legendary...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
Jewish Quarter Walking Tour

Jewish Quarter Walking Tour

Josefov, formerly the Jewish ghetto of Prague, is part of the city's Old Town (Staré Město). Steeped in history, it breathes Jewish culture. Some of the beautiful and historically important synagogues here are still acting, whereas others have been converted to art galleries and museums. This self-guided tour will help you find your way around and explore the most interesting sites of...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 Km or 0.7 Miles
Old Town Souvenir Shopping

Old Town Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Prague without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Prague, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
Lesser Town Walking Tour

Lesser Town Walking Tour

Malá Strana ("Lesser Town") is a district of Prague, one of the most historically significant in the Czech capital. Back in the Middle Ages, it was predominantly populated by ethnic Germans and, in later years, largely retained its Germanic vibe despite prevalence of the Baroque style in architecture.

The most prominent landmark of Malá Strana is the Wallenstein Palace. There are...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 Km or 2.2 Miles

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