As you may have noticed in several other posts, in May of 2018 we spent two weeks in Europe. We had a great time running around Germany and Austria. We also spent a couple of days in Prague, Czech Republic. There were a few things I wanted to see while in the area. However, the Charles Bridge was on the top of my list. It looked amazing and couldn’t wait to check it out. Sadly the weather was unpredictable. It was hot and sunny one minute, then overcast and cloudy the next. We made the most of it though and took as many pictures as I could when I could.
I love bridges and this one caught my interest because of its history. The foundation stone was laid by Charles IV. on 9 July 1357 by King Charles IV and finished at the beginning of the 15th century. Originally it was named Stone Bridge or Prague Bridge but has been “Charles Bridge” since 1870. Whatever you call it, the bridge was the most important connection between Prague Castle and the city’s Old Town. There is a tower standing on each end of the bridge. Both the Staroměstská věž on the Old Town end and the Malostranská věž on the Malá Strana end can be climbed for a view of Prague and the bridge from above.
The Charles Bridge is 621 metres (2,037 ft) long and nearly 10 metres (33 ft) wide and is decorated by a continuous alley of 30 statues and statuaries. Most of them are baroque-style, originally erected around 1700 but now all replaced by replicas. The most popular statue is probably the one of St. John of Nepomuk, a Czech martyr saint who was executed during the reign of Wenceslas IV by being thrown into the Vltava from the bridge. The plaque on the statue has been polished to a shine by countless people having touched it over the centuries. Touching the statue is supposed to bring good luck and ensure your return to Prague. I was too short to touch the actual statue, but Gene touched it twice hoping we will both return one day. Don’t know if it will work, but it’s worth trying, right 🙂
We took public transportation into Old Towne, checked out the Church of our Lady then headed to the bridge. I now understand why they say get there very early or go at night. It was PACKED with people walking, taking pictures, and checking out the statues. There were also many people checking out the many vendors/artists that set up shop on the bridge. FYI, If you want to purchase anything, be prepared to pay a lot more than what’s worth it, the prices are elevated just because you are on the bridge. Either way, it was nice to check some of them out as we walked around. I can’t say it was a pleasant stroll like I had hoped, but it was wonderful walking around and checking out the amazing views of Prague Castle and the city in general. It is so colorful and beautiful. We also saw many cute little swans in the water below. Even though it was crowded we enjoyed checking out the area very much.
Later that evening we made our way back to check out the Charles Bridge area at night and to see the castle all lit up. It was truly romantic and it was perfect to share a kiss or two in honor of our 20th wedding anniversary! It was a wonderful evening and a memory I will always treasure.
Something had been pulling me to Prague, and standing there on the bridge, and taking in the views, made me see why. I am only sad that we didn’t plan more time in Prague. We definitely will next time. There is so much to see and do, but the Charles Bridge was definitely the highlight. Here is a link with more information about the bridge if you are interested.
Charles Bridge Visitor Information
Prague 1, Czech Republic
Malostranské náměstí tram stop (tram 12, 20, 22)
Karlovy lázně tram stop (tram 17, 18)
Staroměstská metro station (line A)
It was actually pretty easy to get to Charles Bridge. The important thing to know is that there are three entry points to the bridge. You can start your journey across the Vltava River from the east side at Krizovnicke Namesti. To get there, take a tram to Staromestska or Karlovy Lazne. FYI, whichever way you go, just plan on doing a little bit of walking.
Getting off the tram at Karlovy Lazne stop is more convenient if you are coming from the south, but Staromestska, which is a bit north off the bridge, also has a metro station on a Green A-Line.
This is arguably the most popular way, as you can start on the Old Town Square, Namesti Republiky, or Wenceslas Square, and walk all the way to the bridge, which is very handy if you are staying in the Old Town.
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