The Gothic bridge that connects Prague’s Old Town and the Mala Strana district is known as Charles Bridge. This is in honour of the Czech king and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV. Popular with artists, tourists, students, and locals, Charles Bridge is one of the most beautiful sights in all of Prague.
Construction on Charles Bridge began in 1357 and was headed by architect Petr Parler, who was also responsible for St. Vitus Cathedral on the grounds of Prague Castle. Legend has it that egg yolks were mixed into the bridge’s mortar to help strengthen the structure. It must have worked, because the bridge has survived centuries of flooding with the most recent coming in August 2002, the worst flood in the Czech Republic in the past 500 years.
The bridge is lined with Baroque statues of various historical and religious figures; these were added at the request of the Catholic Church between 1600 and 1800. Though most of the original statues are now on display in the Lapidarium museum, the replicas that have taken their places remain popular with tourists. The most famous is the statue of St. John of Nepomuk, a martyr who was executed by being thrown from the bridge. Many travellers staying in Prague vacation rentals believe that touching the statue of St. John of Nepomuk brings good luck and guarantees a visitor’s return to Prague.
Visitors who book Prague vacation rentals may enjoy climbing to the top of one of the bridge’s two towers. The Staromestska vez on the Old Town side and the Malostranska vez on the Mala Strana side offer impressive panoramic views of the city and the Charles Bridge below.
Charles Bridge is one of Prague’s most admired landmarks, and tourists flock here all year round. The best time to see the bridge is at sunset, when this vantage point offers stunning views of Prague Castle, fully lit against the darkening sky. Though Charles Bridge is prohibited to vehicular traffic, it is a heavily-travelled pedestrian thoroughfare connecting two of Prague’s most well-known tourist districts and is almost always crowded with people. Travellers who plan to stay in Prague vacation rentals and want a bit of peace while visiting Charles Bridge, should come early in the morning or after dark.
Prague apartment rentals are located in the heart of the city, providing guests with easy access to Charles Bridge and many other landmarks in Prague.
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