Charles Bridge

Discussion in 'Travel Tips & Advice' started by wissy, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. wissy

    wissy Well-Known Member

    Is it true that there was a tram line over Charles Bridge? :eek: If so would love some more information.
    Wissy. :D
  2. Zeisig

    Zeisig Well-Known Member

  3. wissy

    wissy Well-Known Member

    Many thanks for your prompt reply. The posted photograph is most interesting as is the Prague transport web site. Thanks again.
    Robin. :D
  4. gementricxs

    gementricxs Well-Known Member

    Woow, cool.
    Thanks. I didn't know that.
  5. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member

    If my memory serves me right, car traffic on the bridge was still allowed in 1970 and the tram rails were still visible (servisable) on the bridge...

  6. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    Was traffic on the left then, as in Britain?
    If so, do you know when it switched to the right as in the rest of Europe?
  7. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member

    Czechs drove on the right I beleive since the extablishment of the 1st Republic in 1919!, but during the German occupation, the Germans tried to change it to driving on the left ( I still can't explain, why my fahters 1932, 500cc Airofka had right hand drive?) -- as Germany was also driving on the left, like the Brits and Japan. All German vehicles also had a right hand drive as the British -- After the war, all driving changed back to the right side of the road, except the Russian vehicles, they drove on what ever side they found suited them at the time, right or left....

  8. Zeisig

    Zeisig Well-Known Member

    Wrong, Viktor!

    On the picture you can see that the streetcar and especially the cyclist are going from the Lesser Town on the left side. It changed on 25th-26th Mart 1939 during the German occupation as Germany was driving on the right (unlike UK).

    In the 60's some fragments of the rails (not serviceable) had preserved in cobblestone.
  9. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    Thanks a lot Zeisig.

    So the Czechs drove on the left, and joined the rest of Europe driving on the right in 1939 thanks to the Germans. This explains why Viktor's father's car had the steering-wheel on the side for driving on the left.

    I read Scandinavian countries used to drive on the left, but switched to the right several decades ago. In Europe, only Britain still drives on the left.
  10. wissy

    wissy Well-Known Member


    The Republic of Ireland (Eire) drive on the left as do Malta and Cyprus. :eek:
  11. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    Oh, yes, Wissy, former or current British colonies, this goes without saying.
  12. wissy

    wissy Well-Known Member

    Why do I sense a note of sarcasm Qcumber? :eek: But yes both Malta and Cyprus were under former British influence but not for over 40 years. Malta has been a republic since 1964. Cyprus gained independance in 1960 and was accepted into the European Union in 2004. :)
  13. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member

    As I've the "story" -- verbal, from then (1945) almost a kid, my 22 year old stepfather -- the rightofway was somewhat a "local thing", established by the preference of the local constibulary and there was no "official rule" country wise up until WWII. Even the US was somewhat confused about auto trafic rules post WWI, and the lack of adequate paved roads also contributed to the confusion. Americas 1st coast to coast paved road --Hwy 66 was not completed until 1934 -- Until then, most paved roads were 1 or 2 mile stretches in and around town !

    Since post WWI automobile travel world wide, was restricted to very few vehicles on the road owned mainly by the rich ( water craft, sea or river world wide historically adhered to the "left", then horse carriages, as a custom not rule/law sort of followed suite-- first left under the Germans, who imposed their will on the Czechs and then right after 1945, in protest to the now gone Germans ( to piss off the Germans, the American occupation forces, changed Germanys left rule to the right, and most of the vehicular trafic then in Germany were US Army vehicles). That is the way, it was expalined to me, as seen by the person who lived during that period...

  14. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    Sarcasm, Yes and no, Wissy. It is well-known that all former British colonies drove on the left (e.g. Hong Kong).
  15. Ceit

    Ceit Well-Known Member

    Except its most belligerent of former colonies, of course. :wink: (singing) Oh, say can you see...

    I've also heard somewhere, sorry I can't remember where, that Napoleon originally introduced driving on the right to much of Europe. A lot of countries switched back to the left after he was gone, and the Germans imposed right-hand driving for good in the 20th century.
  16. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

  17. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    About Japan and the Philippines: the reason why they took to driving on the left was that their first cars were imported from Hong-Kong, a British colony.

    What is funny about the Philippines, is that although it became a US colony in 1898, it still kept driving on the left. Only after WWII, their liberation from the Japanese, and their independence on paper from the US of A, did it opt for driving on the right because US troops drove on the right, and the armed forces sold umpteen vehicles to civilians with the steering wheel on the left.

    To return to Prague, it would be interesting to know the reason why the Austrian Empire opted first for driving on the left.
  18. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member

    This is realy confusing, after searching vintage automobile sites. seems there are two truths -- there is an equal amount of German produced cars 1932-1939 with right and left hand drives for civilian use, but WWII military vehicles are predominatly right hand drive!?
  19. Zeisig

    Zeisig Well-Known Member

    Viktor, the human memory is too unreliable, don't trust the eyewitnesses. There is evidence that the Germans changed left-side driving to right-side driving in only several days after the unhappy Idus of March 1939.

    There must be a rigid rule at least in the cities with tram lines, because the trams can choose only one of two possibilities. Fortunately the old Prague streetcars were double-ended (bidirectional).

    There are many old photographs of Wenceslas square from the beginning of the 20th century till now with trams and cars, so the eyewitnesses are good-for-nothing in this case.
  20. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member


    You are right, memories do fade with age. I was too young to know the differece beteewn left of right -- I've since learned first hand, that many things my parents claimed about the old country,were eithter fabtications or pipe dreams -- But that what is a child to do, they are his parents, and for a while he/she trusts them blindly.

    For many years I wondered why the car had the steering on the wrong side ( we had photos). Pehaps he (stepfather) was confused about who did what at the time, and passed it on to the kids -- oral history has a tendency of being wrong quite often-- Thanks, I now am convinced.


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