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Charles Bridge

Historic Bridge with Stunning Views
On most days in Prague, it feels like every tourist in town has gathered on the Charles Bridge. And for good reason — this 14th-century cobblestone span crosses the Vltava River, connecting the Old Town with the Lesser Town (Mala Strana) and providing picturesque views of both sides of the river, medieval churches, towers, and Prague Castle on the hill. King Charles IV commissioned the bridge in 1357. The bridge has 16 arches and protected by towers on either end: the Old Town Bridge Tower in Old Town and the Judith Tower and Lesser Town Bridge Tower on the Mala Strana side. The bridge is lined with 30 large statues of religious figures and luminaries, dating from the Baroque era to the present day The best time to go is at dawn, sunset or after dark after the crowds have thinned and romance is in the air.

Go statue-hunting on Charles Bridge
Brave the crowds and hunt for your favorite statue from the thirty featured on this historic 15th century bridge. The Statue of John of Nepomuk with his golden halo of five stars, the national saint of the Czech Republic, deserves special notice as does the bridge tower on the Old Town side, an exceptional example of civil gothic-style architecture. Looking for souvenirs? Artisans and street vendors often set up shop here if you don't mind being jostled by the constant pedestrian traffic while you browse.

Lesser Town Bridge Tower
Check out the the Lesser Town Bridge Tower for the best view of Prague's famous Charles Bridge. Its worth the few euros charged, though the precarious stairs (and ladders) to the top might be challenging for anyone fearing heights.

Watching the sun rise over the Charles Bridge
Getting up at six A.M. was well worth it. I remembered not really having a decent sense of direction that morning, but I allowed myself to run through the empty streets of the Old Town. My prize was a tourist-free, near-empty Charles Bridge in the soft morning light.

Cruise on Moldova River
Choosing a short cruise on Moldova River is a good chance to get a better and faster impression of the entire city and its monuments. These small cruises offer the option to see most of the city’s monuments in a fast, small tour. However, you need to be lucky like us and get good weather and also remember to take a jacket along, not to feel chilly aboard.

Statue of St. Lutgard
As we crossed the famous Charles Bridge in Prague, I of course shot most of the decorative statues that lined the sides. This one of the late St. Lutgard was my favorite out of that day. Now St. Lutgard is NOT the man on the cross, but the female seemingly playing the role of Mary at the foot. Her life actually never crossed that of Jesus', as she had a life-changing experience and became a nun in 1194. The statue was carved by Matthias Braun.

Charles Bridge
Easily my favourite bridge in the world (..now that I have one). The statues flanking the bridge are possibly my favourite marble people in the world. Yes, this is a post of superlatives. It's a great bridge and it's famous for a reason. I will warn you, it's hard to get a photo without approximately ninety people in it, so good luck!

Unlikely Art: Guns
This museum has permanently closed.

David Cerny is one of the Czech Republic's most avant garde and controversial artists due to his large public art displays that usually have political and/or social overtones. The large scale 'Guns' exhibit hangs in the Artbanka Museum of Young Art in Prague, near the Charles Bridge. David Cerny is most famous for his communist era stunt that landed him in prison, when he painted a Red Armada Tank in Victory Square pink.

Trio By Charles' Bridge
Water still high after flood of last week. Bridge still closed too.

The Charles Bridge by Night
Plenty of people will tell you to visit the famed Charles Bridge during the day, and there’s a chance you’ll see those same people there – at least briefly, between outstretched limbs and souvenir bags – if you take their advice. Truth is, the Charles Bridge is too crowded during the day. Have it to yourself at night, when the 14th century structure is nearly empty and the Vltava can be heard rushing under the cobblestones. Admittedly, it’s a bit eerie to walk the bridge after dark, but that’s part of the fun. The statues that line the bridge cast shadows over it, and there may be a few spiders on the lamps glowing against a light fog. Nevertheless, the beauty of the scenery isn’t lost at night, and in fact, it feels more like an adventure.

Experiencing the best of Prague
Prague is one of my favorite places to visit, hands down. It's a city full of surprises and adventures. A couple of my girlfriends and I walked the city and experienced the wonderful Czech food, historical museums, and tours by boat. The people of Prague are welcoming and friendly. Did I forget to mention the Czech Beer?! What's not to love about this city? It has something for everyone.

Charles Bridge
It is definitely one of the most well-known sights of the city. Enjoy walking it all along! Meet other visitors who also enjoy the great view and admire the statues, and take a lot of pictures…

Hebrew Letters Lining a Cricifixion
Heads turn twice when passing hebrew letters arching under the statue of Jesus on the famed Charles Bridge. Years ago, and a boosting a large Jewish community, one jewish man forgot to remove his hat when passing. He was fined and the government used the fine to post the hebrew over jesus stating "Holy, holy, holy" as humiliation. Over the years, society's successful attempts to remove the letters worked and they were torn down. Prague now has a preservation law in which nothing historic is allowed to be touched and so imitable letters were re-hung and still line the bridge today.

Sunrise In Prague
Because it was impossible to take a good picture without a tourist photobombing and due to my passion for photography, we decided to wake up at 5 in the morning and watch the sunrise on the Charles Bridge. The location of our hostel made this little craziness possible for us. I was able to capture the bridge with minimum tourists around and the photos satisfied us.

Charles Bridge - Prague
prague travel-August 2012

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