Charles Bridge and Bridge Towers

If you’re anticipating a visit to Prague you should know that this is a city of beautiful towers; towers that will become the stars of your stroll through the capital of the Czech Republic. If you start walking from Prague’s Old Town toward the Mala Strana to climb the castle, you must stop by one of the architectural wonders that Prague has for you, the iconic and marvelous Charles Bridge.

The Tower of the Old Town is considered one of the most beautiful towers of Prague . It was built by order of King Charles IV by the same architect who designed Charles Bridge. Gothic and 43 meters high style, the façade of the tower of the Old Town of Prague is lavishly decorated with shields of the countries that formed the Czech kingdom during that period , as well as statues , among other characters and saints , Charles IV himself, his predecessor , Wenceslas IV , and St Vitus . The western façade, which you will see from the same Charles Bridge was damaged through several battles over the centuries, so it lacks the decor that you see on the east side.

The eastern façade of the Old Town Bridge Tower

The eastern façade of the Old Town Bridge Tower

The western façade of the Old Town Bridge Tower

The western façade of the Old Town Bridge Tower

While you stroll through the narrow streets of the medieval city, suddenly you will head to a medieval tower: it’s the Tower of the Old Town ( Staremostska Mostecka time, in Czech) which lies on the east side of Charles Bridge.  On the opposite side of the bridge you will find the Towers of Mala Strana, very distinct in design, since these are two towers built in different times.

Towers of Mala Strana

Towers of Mala Strana

Charles Bridge is on the top of every Prague visitor’s must-see list. It is also popular with Czech artists, musicians and souvenir vendors whose stands line both sides of the bridge year-round. A great time of day to come to the bridge is at sunset when one can enjoy a breathtaking view of the fully lit Prague Castle against the evening sky.

Musicians playing on Charles Bridge

The Crucifix and Calvary statue on Charles Bridge

The Crucifix and Calvary

The statue of John of Nepomuk on the north side of  Charles Bridge

The statue of John of Nepomuk.

The bridge is now a pedestrian zone (although both tram and car traffic were allowed there in the past) and is almost constantly filled with people. If you want to have it all to yourself, go there at night or very early in the morning.

View of Charles Bridge very early in the morning.

Have you been to Prague? If so, what was your favourite architectural monument?

4 Responses to Charles Bridge and Bridge Towers

  1. I just mentioned the Charles Bridge is my last post! Coincidence. You, however, cover it much much better.

    WanderingCarol November 7, 2014 at 10:06 AM Reply
    • Thank you very much Carol. I do but never with your great sense of humor! 🙂

      Will Castillo November 14, 2014 at 2:55 PM Reply
  2. I’ve begun losing count of the number of times I’ve been to this city, but I’ll always credit her with pushing me to making a big life change, which also helped in part with the decision to travel the world. Ironically, when I went around the world, I didn’t go to Prague! But you’ve got it right as everyone else figures out: early in the morning or very late at night is the best time to visit Karluv most. Now when I’m back, I usually try and avoid this bridge when crossing the Vltava, as it’s often easier to walk or tram over the other bridges, or if I’m truly lazy, the metro to Malostranska or to Andel. Thanks for writing about the bridge, Will!

    fotoeins November 7, 2014 at 6:28 PM Reply
  3. Prague really is memorable. I guess I liked the Charles Bridge and the old clock the best.

    cindamackinnon November 10, 2014 at 2:21 PM Reply

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