Karlův most, the Charles Bridge, is one of the most famous landmarks in Prague. Construction started in 1357 under King Charles IV. Construction ended in 1402, 45 years after they started! It was a massive undertaking and once complete served as the only way to cross the river Vltava without a boat.
Charles Bridge, originally called Stone Bridge, established Prague as an important trade route for goods between Western and Eastern Europe.
Charles Bridge stretches almost 1,700 feet (516m) across the river Vltava and measures 33 feet (10m) wide. It’s a classic example of a bow bridge with 16 arches allowing the river to flow through it. The Charles Bridge was the only bridge over the river until 1841.
In 2019 a major restoration project kicked off to fix the ice guards and the stone blocks. It’s estimated the repairs will take 20 years!
I had the pleasure of visiting Prague in the summer of 2018 and walked across the Charles Bridge numerous times. Prague is an amazing city! There are so many sights to see, anyone interested in medieval history would love the city. Even those not interested in history would have a good time. If you ever get a chance to visit Prague I highly recommended it!
The other night I was looking for a video on YouTube and ended up going down a rabbit hole. But thankfully I was able to find this video, made back in 2016, for the 700th anniversary of King Charles IV. It’s an animated video detailing how the bridge was constructed in the Middle Ages. After watching the video it’s no wonder the bridge took 45 years to build. The end card is in Czech, translated below for those of us who don’t speak(or read) Czech.
Hypothetical reconstruction of the construction of the Charles Bridge was created for the project of a virtual exhibition of the Prague period of Charles IV and realized by the Archaeological Institute of the Academy of Sciences of Prague
The project was financially supported by the Ministers of Culture of the Czech Republic within the program of the national celebrations of the 700th anniversary of the birth of Emperor Charles IV