Charles Bridge PragueCharles Bridge in Prague

The beautiful, historical Charles Bridge in Prague crosses not only the Vltava River, but also the famous canal, Čertovka (meaning ‘the devil´s site’). The gothic style bridge is supported by sixteen mighty arches as it rises up from the bottom of the river to a height of thirteen meters. And atop the bridge you will find 30 statues in the baroque style of saints which were added centuries after the initial building of the bridge. The Charles Bridge has become quite popular in recent years due to the magical aura that surrounds it especially in the early morning or late at night.

History of the Charles Bridge

The Charles Bridge was officially commissioned in 1357 by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV but not finished until the start of the 15th century. It was built to replace another bridge which has been destroyed in 1342 during a flood, leaving the city without any way in which to cross from the left bank to the right bank of the Vltava River.

As legend goes, Charles IV himself laid the very first stone at precisely 5:31 a.m. on 9 July 1357 as he was a firm believer in numerology and thought that the palindrome (1357 9, 7 5:31) would guarantee the success of the building of the bridge and add to its strength and importance.

The Charles Bridge remained the only way to cross between the two sides of the city until 1841 which made Prague paramount as a vital connection between Eastern and Western Europe trade routes.

Over the centuries the structure of the bridge has been damaged due to floods and several times there have been major reparations to maintain its figure. Through it all, it remained an important part of the economic and historical story of Prague. In addition to its significance in the economic power of Prague, the Charles Bridge was also notably served as a display for  the decapitated heads of 27 leaders from the anti-Habsburg revolt in 1621 to deter Czechs from further resistance.

Fast Facts about the Charles Bridge in Prague

Charles bridge at night

Charles Bridge foundation: 1357 by Charles IV

Previous names: Stone Bridge (Kamenný most) or Prague Bridge (Pražský most)

Charles Bridge size: Charles Bridge is 515 meters (1,693 ft) long; 10 meters (33 ft) wide; maximum height is 13.5 meters (44 ft); has 16 magnificent original arches.

Charles Bridge Towers: one on the Old Town side, called Old Town Bridget Tower, and two on the Lesser Town side, one called Mala Strana Bridge Tower.

Statues on Charles Bridge: There are 30 statues of saints and patron saints, mostly baroque style.

More Information about
the Charles Bridge in Prague

Statues on the Charles Bridge

Statues on the south side of the bridge

  • Statue of St. Ivo
  • Statues of saints Barbara, Margaret and Elizabeth
  • Statue of the Lamentation of Christ
  • Statue of St. Joseph
  • Statue of St. Francis Xavier
  • Statue of St. Christopher
  • Statue of St. Francis Borgia
  • Statue of St. Ludmila
  • Statue of St. Francis of Assisi
  • Statue of Saints Vincent Ferrer and Procopius + Bruncvík column
  • Statue of St. Nicholas of Tolentino
  • Statue of St. Luthgard (Dream of St. Luthgard)
  • Statue of St. Adalbert
  • Statues of Saints John of Matha, Felix of Valois, and Ivan
  • Statue of St. Wenceslas

Statues on the north side of the bridge

  • Statue of the Madonna attending to St. Bernard
  • Statue of the Madonna, Ss. Dominic and Thomas Aquinas
  • The Crucifix and Calvary
  • Statue of St. Anne
  • Statue of St. Cyril and St. Methodius
  • Statue of St. John the Baptist
  • Statue of Saints Norbert of Xanten, Wenceslas and Sigismund
  • Statue of St. John of Nepomuk
  • Statue of St. Anthony of Padua
  • Statue of St. Jude Thaddeus
  • Statue of St. Augustine
  • Statue of St. Cajetan
  • Statue of St. Philip Benitius
  • Statuary of St. Vitus
  • Statue of the Holy Savior with Cosmas and Damian

Important Note: The Charles Bridge in Prague is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an extremely important national monument and should be treated with the upmost respect. The Charles Bridge is open to all visitors and people, without charge as we believe that its beauty should be shared with those from around the world. We ask all of our clients and guests to please respect our culture and history by refraining from leaving behind any evidence of your time on the bridge. Take lots of photos, enjoy the walk across and the views from the bridge. Thank you.

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