Prague Charles Bridge
Prague Charles Bridge is the oldest Prague bridge built in the place of the Judith Bridge, which was destroyed by floods in 1342. Stone Bridge or Prague Bridge since 1870 called Charles, was founded in 1357 by Charles IV. (he laid the foundation stone on 9th of September 1357), and bridge was completed in 1402.
Prague Charles Bridge connects the Old Town with Lesser Town of Prague (Mala Strana).
The bridge is built of sandstone blocks and it’s 515.76 meters long, 9.5 meters wide, resting on 16 arches.
Both sides of Prague Charles Bridge are fortified by towers – Lesser Town Bridge Tower and Old Town Bridge Tower (built in gothic style).
Peter Parléř managed the construction. In 1928 was the bridge was decorated by baroque statues of 30 saints – the most famous is the statue of St. John of Nepomuk (created by M. Braun, F. M. Brokof). Superstition about John of Nepomuk involves rubbing the plaque at the base of the statue for the granting of a wish.
The most famous sculptures on the Prague Charles Bridges:
- John of Nepomuk – created by M. Braun, F. M. Brokof.
- Christopher – created by Emanuel Max. St. Christofer was strongman who came from Canaan. He served God – he carried on his shoulders pilgrims to the other side of the wild river. He carried also Christ who has taken the form of a small child. So this scene shows the sculpture.
- Francis Xavier – Ferdinand Maxmilián Brokoff formed the statue 23 years.
- Ludmila with a little Wenceslas – St. Ludmila has in her left hand veil, through which she was strangled, her right hand pointing in the Bible in which a little Václav is learning to read.
- Vincenc Ferrer and St. Prokop – designed by Ferdinand Maxmilian Brokoff
- knight Bruncvík – Bruncvík owned a magic sword, which, according to legend, at his request itself knocking heads enemies. He buried him on the Charles Bridge – it has picked St Wenceslas in the place where his horse’s hoof breaks ground on a bridge on the way to help the Czech country. Sword destroying enemies and will bring peace in Bohemia.
- Ivo – created by Bernard Braun. St. Ivo is patron of lawyers.
- the Holy Crucifix and Calvary – crucifix, the first bridge ornament, stood here already during the reign of Charles IV.
- Cyril and Methodius – sculpture expresses the missionary activity of of the missionaries and the idea of Slavic unity.
- Barbara, Margaret and Elizabeth – created by John Brokoff. The sculpture of “holy virgins”.
- John the Baptist – patron of the the Hospitallers – Knights of Malta, has at the left side crucifix and shell, reminiscent of the Baptism of Christ
- Vitus – St. Vitus is the patron of the Czech country.
Other highlights include for example spectacular views over the River Vltava.
During the summer it’s always full of tourists, souvenir stalls and street artists.