Charles Bridge

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Charles Bridge
tips and insights


Charles Bridge is embellished with copies of Baroque ecclesiastical statues. The originals were removed for preservation's sake. Good thing. The replicas have acquired an unsightly black patina from the coal soot discharged over time from Prague chimneys. The soot is too deeply imbedded to be cleaned without defacing the sculptures.

History in brief



The original structure (named Judith Bridge) was built in 1157. It stood for nearly 200 years before a severe flood ended its functional life.


Emperor Charles IV commissioned the replacement (1347). It was solidly built as it has lasted for about 650 years and counting. It even survived the disastrous 2002 megaflood.


The Charles Bridge spans the Vtlava (Moldau) River, two main parts of Prague. It measures 515 meters (about 1700 feet) in length and 10 meters (33 feet) wide.


The bridge was named for the emperor, but not until 500 years after his death. Previously, people called it the Stone or Prague Bridge.

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