Woot! Maerose here, and here comes part 2 of my short trip to the magical city of Prague, and a neighboring Czech town. 😉 (If you missed part 1: The fairy tale City of a Hundred Spires)
Well, I can’t imagine Prague without the Charles Bridge, which us considered by many as one of the most beautiful in Europe, if not the world. I’ve seen and experienced the bridge myself, so I can humbly say that oh boy, was it true! The Gothic bridge is really something to behold! Fun Fact: “Charles IV laid the first stone of this famous monument at 5.31 am on July 9, 1357. The notoriously superstitious king was into astrology and numerology, and chose this date because of its written form: 1-3-5-7-9-7-5-3-1 (year, day, month, time).” Cool, eh?
The bridge connects the coasts of the River Vltava. It is also an important historical bridge that connects the Prague Castle to the Old Town and the rest of the city. Adorned with 30 statues of saints and patron saints, the bridge was first known simply as the Stone Bridge. In 1870, however, its name was changed to Karlův most, or Charles Bridge, after Bohemia’s most famous king, King Charles IV. Most of the landmarks, institutions and places are named after the Father of the country. The King was also the first king of Bohemia to become Holy Roman Emperor. Interestingly, he was a Roman Catholic, but married not just twice, but four times! He had 13 children from these four different women.
The construction of the bridge began in the 1300s, and the statues were erected along it in the 1700s. The statues we see on the bridge now, however, are just replicas. The originals have been exhibited at the National Museum, according to Wikipedia.
Charles Bridge is, therefore, one chunk of an ancient bridge protected by three bridge towers. Two of which are on the Prague Castle side, and one on the Old Town side. They say that the one on the Old Town side is the most sophisticated of the three, and I can quite recall why. I remember it to be gloomy, dark, sturdy, and very Gothic!
On the Old Town side facing the bridge is the Church of the Holy Savior, an early Baroque Roman Catholic Church built in between the 1500s and the 1700s, and which serves as a venue for organ concerts.
Moving to the other side, the Prague Castle side, you’ll find a small bakery by the foot of the bridge, on the right side. They sell yummy trdelník, a sweet hollow bread roll which is a favorite delicacy in the land!
As I have mentioned in my previous post, the weather during my visit was truly unpredictable. It was cold and windy and rainy the first time I crossed the bridge on my way to the Castle. It even rained hale! And for that reason, I bought a nice drawing of the bridge with a girl figure in the middle, walking with a red umbrella, for a souvenir. It totally reminds me of the days I spent in Prague. So romantic 🙂
So, when is the best time to go across the bridge? I would say in the morning, like 7 or 8am. Seriously, the bridge is super famous that throngs of tourists, artists, sidewalk performers and vendors, and pedestrians flock on the bridge all throughout the day! You can also walk along Smetanovo nábřeží, or the street leading to the Dancing House, stand by the Legion Bridge, and catch the magnificent Prague Castle and Charles Bridge at sunset.
Another fun fact: According to our tour guide, the rock band The Rolling Stones admired the Prague Castle so much that they paid for the lighting system of the Castle. So thanks to them, the Castle looks really magical at night! (See photo above 😉 )
This is all for now. More about the home country of Pilsner in my next entry! Thanks for reading! Cheers! ❤