By Dana Shanberg
Bridge is a stone Gothic bridge that connects the Old
Town and Lesser Town (Malá Strana).
It was actually called the Stone Bridge (Kamenný
most) during its first several centuries. Its
construction was commissioned by Czech king and Holy
Roman Emperor Charles IV and
began in 1357. In charge of the construction
was architect Petr Parléř whose other works include the
St. Vitus Cathedral at the Prague
Castle. It is said that egg yolks were mixed into the
mortar to strengthen the
construction of the bridge.
Charles Bridge is one of the many monuments
that were built during Charles' reign but it is not the
first bridge that ever connected the Prague banks of the
Vltava. Another bridge used to stand in its place - the
Judith Bridge, which was the first stone bridge over the
river. It was built in 1172 and collapsed in a flood in
its predecessor, Charles Bridge has survived many
floods, most recently in August 2002 when the country
experienced the worst flood in the past 500 years
- so the egg yolks must not have been such a bad
There is a tower standing on each end of the bridge. Both
věž on the Old Town end and the Malostranská
věž on the Malá Strana end can be climbed for
a view of Prague and the bridge from above.
A total of Baroque statues
began to be placed along
either side of Charles Bridge in the 17th century.
Now many of them are copies
and the originals can be seen in the
Lapidarium (see Prague
Museums). The most popular statue is probably the
one of St.
John of Nepomuk, a
Czech martyr saint who was executed during the reign
of Wenceslas IV by being thrown into the
Vltava from the bridge. The
plaque on the statue
has been polished to a shine by countless people having
touched it over the centuries. Touching the statue
is supposed to bring good luck and ensure your return
Bridge is on the top of every Prague visitor's must-see
list. It is also popular with Czech artists, musicians
and souvenir vendors whose stands line both sides of
the bridge year-round. A great time of day to come
to the bridge is at sunset when one can enjoy a breathtaking
view of the fully lit Prague Castle against the evening
The bridge is now a pedestrian
zone (although both tram and car
traffic were allowed
there in the past) and is almost
constantly filled with people. If you want to have
it all to yourself, go there at night or very early
in the morning.
| Top Rated Hotels near Charles Bridge:
Tržiště 9, Prague 1 - Lesser Town
One of the world's top luxury hotels, the Aria is excellently run, centrally located yet tucked away, and its music theme gives it a unique atmosphere. The rooms overlooking the Vrtba Garden feel quiet and intimate. Make sure you visit the rooftop restaurant for an incredible view of the Prague Castle and Lesser Town.
||Rocco Forte Augustine Hotel
Letenská 12/33, Prague 1 - Lesser Town
Luxury accommodation in seven historic buildings including a 13th century Augustinian monastery. All rooms are inspired by Czech Cubism and provide beautiful views of the city, the monastery and the Prague Castle. With a spa, an award-winning restaurant and the hotel’s own St. Thomas Beer.
||Alchymist Grand Hotel and Spa
Tržiště 19, Prague 1 - Lesser Town
Prague's renowned Alchymist Grand Hotel and Spa is housed in a UNESCO-protected Baroque landmark building, the "House at the Infant Jesus", dating back to the 16th century. Enjoy a unique spa and health club in the 11th century cellars and complimentary wine and cheese tasting offered daily.
||Mamaison Suite Hotel Pachtuv Palace Prague
Karolíny Světlé 34, Prague 1 - Old Town
The Mamaison Suite Hotel Pachtuv Palace enjoys an excellent location within minutes from Charles Bridge and a short walk from Old Town Square through the picturesque streets of Old Town. Some rooms offer beautiful views of the river (ask ahead) and all suites feature fully equipped kitchens.
||Hotel Pod Věží
Mostecká 2, Prague 1 – Lesser Town
The Hotel Pod Věží is at a wonderful location in Lesser Town, right at one of the Charles Bridge towers. The rooms have air conditioning and free Wi-Fi. Czech and international cuisine can be enjoyed in the charming restaurant Pod Věží or on its summer terrace. You can park your car on site.
||Charles Bridge Residence
Mostecká 12/49, Prague 1 – Lesser Town
The Charles Bridge Residence is located just a few steps from Charles Bridge. All rooms have unique features such as stained glass windows, original parquet floors and beamed ceilings. Free Wi-Fi is available and secure underground parking and shuttle services to the airport and train station are offered for an extra charge.