May 2013
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Charles Bridge in Prague – Czech Republic

The Charles Bridge is a popular historic bridge.

Overview of The Charles Bridge

• It crosses the Vltava River in Prague, Czech Republic.
• Its construction was done in 1357.
• It was built under the rule of King Charles IV.
• It finished by the beginning of 15th century.
• It had been the sole method of crossing the river Vltava until 1841.
• The Charles Bridge was the most crucial connection between Prague Castle and also the city’s Old Town and adjacent areas.
• This “solid-land” connection made Prague significant as a seaway between Eastern and Western Europe.
• The bridge was originally known as the Stone Bridge or the Prague Bridge.
• It is known as the “Charles Bridge” since 1870.
• The bridge is about 621 m in length and about 10m in width.
• The bridge rests on 16 arches.
• These arches are protected by ice guards.
• It is protected by three bridge towers.
• The existing Town bridge tower is considered the most astonishing building that was built in civil Gothic style in the world.
• The bridge is decorated with a continuous alley of 30 statues and statuaries.
• Most of them come in baroque-style.
• All are replaced by replicas.
• Charles Bridge is usually a 14th century stone bridge linking both the sides of Prague.
• This magnificent structure is among-st the city’s finest attractions.
• It’s the main pedestrian route connecting the Old Town while using the Lesser Town and Prague Castle.
• From Charles Bridge, visitors enjoy fairy-tale views from the Prague skyline.
• Flanked on sides are elegant buildings.
• Prague Castle towers above in its eminent position.
• Charles Bridge throngs with people during the day.
• Street artists sketch and musicians play music.
• King Charles IV commissioned the bridge.
• The foundation stone was laid in 1357.
• Charles IV’s favorite architect and builder, Peter Parler, oversaw the vast majority of work.
• The initial idea was to produce a functional construction for knight tournaments.
• For many years the sole decoration around the bridge became a simple crucifix.
• The Catholic desire to have ornamentation triggered 30 statues being erected between 1600 and 1800.
• There are 75 statues on Charles Bridge till date. They are copies.
• This is because floods and catastrophes above the centuries damaged the originals.
• The most interesting, in addition to the oldest, is that of John of Nepomuk.
• It is 8th from the right as you cross towards Prague Castle.
• The doorway to Charles Bridge is marked at both ends by towers.
• They’re the earlier Town Bridge Tower plus the Mala Strana Bridge Tower.

Facts summarized

• Official name : Karluv most
Other names
– Stone Bridge
– Prague Bridge
• Carries Pedestrian only
• Crosses Vltava River
• Locale : Prague
• Designer : Peter Parler
• Design : Stone
• Material : Bohemian sandstone
• Total length : 515.8 metres
• Width : 9.5 metres
• Longest span : 13.4 metres
• Vertical clearance : 13 metres
• Construction begin : 1357
• Construction end : 1402

Statues on the Bridge

• The avenue of 30 baroque statues and statuaries are situated around the balustrade.
• They form an exclusive connection of artistic styles while using the underlying gothic bridge.
• Most sculptures were erected between 1683 and 1714.
• These sculptures are of various saints and patron saints of that time.
• In order to decorate the bridge, most prominent Bohemian sculptors were brought in. They are:
– Matthias Braun
– Jan Brokoff
– His sons Michael Joseph and Ferdinand Maxmilian.
• Among the most notable sculptures are:
– St. Luthgard
– The Holy Crucifix and Calvary
– St. John of Nepomuk
– Knight Bruncvík

Best time to visit / climate

• The town of Prague has borderline oceanic climate.
• The winters are relatively cold with almost no sunshine.
• Snow cover is common between mid-November to late March.
• Summers are high being around 25 degrees.
• Nights can be quite cool even in summer, though.
• Precipitation in Prague is very low.
• This is because of the shadow on the Ore Mountains along with the Czech Central Highlands.
• The driest season is usually winter.
• The summers may bring quite heavy rain in type of violent storms and showers.
• Temperature inversions are relatively common between mid-October and mid-March.

Location on Google Maps

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Or click and paste the URL below on the browser:,14.408355&spn=0.007476,0.01929&sll=50.087947,14.408634&sspn=0.007476,0.01929&gl=in&hnear=Kampa+Island&t=m&z=16

How to get there?

To reach Charles Bridge
• Old Town, Prague 1
• Czech Republic
• Metro: Staromestska (line A)
• Tram stop: Staromestska (trams 17, 18, 53)

By plane
• Vaclav Havel Airport
• +420 220 111 111, +420 296 661 111
• Located 20 km (12 mi) northwest on the central city
• It generally takes about 30 min to realize town centre by car.
Edinburgh airport is served by way of a variety of airlines:
• Czech Airlines could be the national carrier operating too many European and international destinations.
• Wizz Air is an affordable airline.
• It has its base in Prague.
It operates to European destinations which include:
– London
– Barcelona
– Milan
– Others
• Easy Jet operates low cost services to European destinations.
• BMI baby low priced services in the UK only.
• low priced services from Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds/Bradford & Edinburgh
• Smart Wings to Europe & Turkey.
• Swiss International flies to Zurich, Basel and Geneva.
• Aer Lingus through the Irish cities of Dublin & Cork.
• Norwegian from Scandinavia.
• Delta Air Lines from Nyc.
• Aegean Airlines from Greece
• KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has 5 direct flights on a daily basis from Amsterdam.
• British Airways has 4 direct flights from London Heathrow daily.
• Brussels Airlines offers 3 flights per day to Brussels.
• Lufthansa offers 6 flights per day from Frankfurt and 4 from Munich.
• TAP offers daily direct flights from Lisbon and Oporto.
• Iberia offers 3 flights daily from Madrid.
• German wings offer daily flights from Cologne/Bonn.
• Air One from Milan-Malpensa

By Bus
Airport Express (bus operated by Czech Railways):
• These buses leave Edinburgh airport every half an hour
• The first bus is at 05:46 while the last bus is at 21:16.
• The cost come to about 60 CZK per person.
• Tickets can be obtained from the driver.
• They shall take the buyer to the railway and subway station.
• The final stop will be Prague’s main place.

By Train
• Prague is well connected to European EC train network.
• Berlin: 4½hours and EC trains every two hours
• Munich: 6 hours and four regional expresses daily.
• Vienna: 4¾hours and EC train roughly every two hours
• Linz: 5hours and two REX trains per day
• Bratislava: 4hours and EC train every a couple of hours and also one night train Metropol
• Budapest: 7 hours and five EC trains a day with one night train Metropol
• Warsaw: 8 hours and EC Praha with one night train Sirava
Direct night trains connect Prague with:
– Cologne
– Frankfurt
– Amsterdam
– Copenhagen
– Zurich
– Basel
– Krakow
– Moscow
– Kiev
– Saint Petersburg
– Odessa

Some Travel Books about Czech Republic

Rick Steves’ Prague and the Czech Republic Fodor’s Prague & the Best of the Czech Republic DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Czech and Slovak Republics

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