Ever wondered how any article or discussion about Prague is incomplete without mentioning the Charles bridge even though being blessed with some of the most astonishing gothic and baroque style churches, and few of the finest castles and art galleries. Such is the place the bridge holds in Prague’s culture, tradition as well as administration.
Let’s have a glance at what makes Charles bridge the heart of Prague city.
The history behind Charles Bridge:
Charles bridge was known as the stone bridge, and then was renamed later in honour of King Charles IV, hence you will find a statue of King Charles at the entrance of the bridge from the old town side. The Charles bridge is one of the oldest bridges in the world. Construction of the Bridge dates back to the 14th century when King Charles IV replaced the previously damaged bridge. According to the stories, Charles IV was specific regarding the construction of the bridge, after consulting numerous numerologists the construction of the structure began on 9th of July 1357 at 5.31 a.m.
The bridge beneath is supported by 15 massive pillars and is 13 meters tall. It is said that the bridge took over 40 years to complete owing to its complex engineering and structural intricacies. The bridge has witnessed many fitting battles over the years and has played a crucial role in defining the city’s architecture.
Also read: Prague Astronomical Clock
The charm of the Charles bridge:
Apart from a riveting history, Charles bridge is a hotspot offering its tourists plenty of experiences while they sink in city vibes. A study suggests over 6.5 million people cross the bridge each year.
During the evening the structure is packed with tourists waiting to capture the gothic and baroque structures during twilights as it offers some of the best views of the city. At night, the crowd is relatively less, you can visit the bridge and enjoy the illuminated castle and city lights and fireworks over the river Vltava.
You can witness 30 baroque style statues on the way and enjoy live music with talented street artists performing while you shop for souvenirs and paintings.
The bridge is also sought after destination for Many religious pilgrims who believe rubbing the image of martyrdom of bishop John brings them good luck.
Also read: Visit Prague’s Heartbeat, Old Town Square
Places to Visit near Charles bridge:
Old town bridge Tower:
It is merely a couple of minutes by walk from Charles bridge, reaching the summit of the tower will bless you with enchanting views of the entire old town.
Just a 1km away from Charles whist is the Wenceslas square which is the city centre and hosts most of the public gatherings, celebrations.
Prague castle is also at a walkable distance from Charles bridge. It is also the office of the president of Prague.
Surroundings of the Charles bridge are blessed with numerous other museums and cafes.
How to Reach:
By Air: If you are flying from other destinations, International Airport is 15kms away from Charles Bridge. Taxis are readily available and it might take roughly 15 – 20 mins from the Airport.
By metro: Nearest Metro stations are Prague, Wilsonova and Národní třída which is at a distance of 1.1kms and 2.3kms from the Charles Bridge.
Entrance and Timings:
There is no entrance fee for Charles bridge and is open from throughout the day. But, the Museums and Art galleries nearby will have specific times and might charge an entrance fee.