Visit the Charles Bridge in Prague. Its towers and its Legends

The Charles Bridge is one of the most famous monuments in Prague but above all it is the union between the two most monumental neighborhoods of the city, Stare Mesto, where we find, for example, the Old Town Square, and Malá Strana, where we find the Prague Castle.

The name of the bridge is due to Carlos IV, who had it built in 1357 on the site of another bridge that was destroyed by floods, the Judith Bridge.

At its ends there are two towers that make this bridge a marvel.

Walking across the Charles Bridge

Prague - Charles BridgeThe spectacular Charles Bridge, which is the second oldest still standing in the Czech Republic, is over 500 meters long and is flanked by numerous statues on both sides.

Along the bridge we find numerous street artists and craft stalls where you can buy a souvenir.

In total, there are 30 statues that we can admire as we cross the Vltava River.

Although it must be said that most are copies of the originals, which are in the National Museum in Prague and in Vyšehrad.

The legend of San Juan de Nepomuceno

pragueBut of all the statues there is one that stands out above the others and that was also the first statue to be built on the bridge.

It is the one of San Juan de Nepomuceno, patron of Bohemia and who was thrown into the sea in the same place where his statue is today by order of Wenceslaus IV.

According to legend, the reason for the Czech king’s anger was that Saint John of Nepomuk was the confessor of the queen consort, Sophia of Bavaria, but refused to break the secret of confession when required by the king.

However, the real reason was disputes over appointing a new abbot in a Benedictine abbey.

According to tradition, visitors to Prague must make a wish while placing their left hand on the lower part of the statue, where the representation of their martyrdom is located

The Towers of the Charles Bridge

Prague - Towers of the Charles BridgeAt the ends of the Charles Bridge we can find 3 towers, two on the Mala Strana side and one on the Stare Mesto side.

The Old Town Tower, as the tower on this side is known, is one of the city’s gothic jewels.

It served as a triumphal gate in the parade made by the Kings of Bohemia on their way to the Castle to be crowned.

From the tower we can highlight the statues that are on the opposite side to the river and that survived an attack in 1648 and also the viewpoint that is on the first floor and which is accessed after 138 steps.

On the other side of the bridge we find two towers that are joined by an arch. The two towers are asymmetrical and also have a different architectural style, because they were built at different times.

One of them is the Tower of Judith, in Romanesque style, and the other the Tower of Mala Strana, in Gothic style and which also has a viewpoint that we can go up to.

You can find more information on the official page of the Prague Towers.

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