Charles Bridge in Prague

Charles Bridge in Prague
Charles Bridge in Prague

Within the monumental and artistic ensemble of the capital of the Czech Republic an engineering work stands out: the Charles Bridge, which It is one of the most beautiful and valued bridges in the world. And it is as much for its beauty of forms as for its dimensions.

This is a bridge that is over 500 meters long to join the two banks of the Vltava River that irrigates the Czech capital. More than considerable dimensions for what is necessary to have the support of 16 arches. And it also has a width of 10 meters, which in other times allowed the passage of 4 carriages at the same time. Although, fortunately, it is currently pedestrianized and its use is practically exclusively for tourism.


Prague Charles Bridge

However, historically its importance was enormous uniting the Old Town of Prague or Stare Mesto on one shore and the Little Town or Mala Strana, since Prague was growing on the other shore.

Before the Charles Bridge in Prague existed, there was another bridge that was washed away by a flood of the Vltava, and when its reconstruction was undertaken it was decided to make a bridge as lasting possible. For them, the design was not only commissioned to the most important architect and sculptor of the empire at that time, Peter Parler, who also made the nearby St. Vitus Cathedral, where he even took a self-portrait.

But in addition to that, the Emperor Carlos IV allowed himself to be advised by the court astronomers to choose the most propitious moment to carry out the work. For this reason, work began exactly on July 9, 1357 at 5:31 a.m. And the truth is that it will be because of choosing the moment well or because the work is well done, but the reality is that today the bridge is still standing, having withstood floods, wars and different conflicts.

Regarding the invoice of the work, it must be said that it is made of sandstone from the Bohemia region, but it has always been speculated that its secret was that in eggs were used as a joining element in the mortar. Something that has never been verified, although it is true that chemical analyzes that have been carried out indicate the presence of organic elements in that mortar.

All this regarding the medieval bridge itself, but to this we must add the three dozen statues that were added during the Baroque centuries. And above all we must mention the towers that rise at the ends of the bridge. On the Mala Strana side there are two forming a gate. While in Stare Mesto there is only one, but bigger and more spectacular, a truly unique example of civil architecture of the Gothic.

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