Footsteps - Jotaro's Travels
Charles Bridge (Karlův most), Prague
A Unesco Heritage Site
A Unesco Heritage Site
We had the privilege of walking on it during a 2015 holiday trip to Europe.
At 620 metres long and about 10 metres wide, it sits on sixteen arches which are protected by ice barriers at the water level. It connects the Old Town to the Lesser Quarter (Malá Strana) of the Prague Castle district.
As it was an important trade route bridge, it was protected by three towers. The above shows the two towers on the Lesser Quarter side that leads to Prague Castle. All the towers are accessible to the public for a very good panoramic view of Prague Old Town. For opening times and entry rates to the towers, see below.
On the Old Town side there is a single tower. The towers are of Gothic design and are impressive in their stature.
View of the single tower from the Old Town side, showing statues mid-way up.
Close up view of the tower shows the detailing to which it has been constructed.
The Charles Bridge is in fact made up of several bridges, built over one another since the time first was constructed. This is evident from the boat jetty (below the old town tower) where boat tours of the Vltava River starts. From here, the layers of the underside of the different bridges can be seen.
We started our walk along the bridge from the Lesser Quarter side, walking through the arch below the two towers.
From somewhere here, we looked down and saw a canal with the old housed edging it. Prague old town has many canals and is sometimes referred to as the Venice of the North. We later did take a boat cruise sailing through the canals and onto the Vltava River.
At mid-span, we stopped to admire the Vltava River. Upstream there is a low weir.
Down stream there are several new bridges spanning the river.
STATUES ON THE CHARLES BRIDGE
What makes the Charles Bridge interesting are the many statues (done in Baroque style) that line both sides of the bridge. These statues are impressive and if time permits stop to admire their beauty and the craftsmanship that the artist have put into them. As we were in a bit of hurry to get to the other side of the bridge to start the boat tour at the jetty below the Old Town Tower, and I just took photos as fast as possible as we walked along.
Just a bit of detraction here; the bridge is also a favourite spot for wedding couples to take their photos.
One of the metal panel carving at the base of the above statue.
An ornate metal railing.
At the Old Town end of the bridge, next to the Charles Bridge Museum, lovers have put love lock onto a railing there.
While there grab a view of the façade of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi.
And round another corner is a statue of King Charles IV.
It is an intricately carved statue with a beautiful base.
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