Thursday, May 7, 2009

Walking at Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic

We had a trip in Prague last year. To be exact that was September 27, 2008. You can also see the date which is embedded on the picture here. This was taken in the famous bridge of Prague called Charles Bridge. Please continue to read below for some information about the construction of the bridge.

The bridge is 516 meters long and nearly 10 meters wide, resting on 16 arches shielded by ice guards. It is protected by three bridge towers, two of them on the Lesser Quarter side and the third one on the Old Town side. The Old Town bridge tower is often considered to be one of the most astonishing civil gothic-style buildings in the world. The bridge is decorated by a continuous alley of 30 statues and statuaries, most of them baroque-style, erected around 1700.

photo taken at Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic

Building the bridge

The need for building a new bridge emerged after the old romanesque Judith Bridge (Juditin most, built around 1170 and named after king Vladislav I's wife Judith) was destroyed by a flood in 1342. The building began in 1357, was supervised by Peter Parler and led by a "magister pontis", Jan Ottl.

There is a modern legend saying that the foundation stone was laid in 1357 on the 9th day of the 7th month at 5:31 AM and that Charles IV chose this time so that when one writes out the opening time, they write the sequence of odd numbers, 1-3-5-7-9-7-5-3-1.

The bridge was built from Bohemian sandstone. There is a legend saying that eggs were used to enrich the mortar used to bind the stone blocks to make it harder. Although the saying cannot be verified, modern laboratory tests have indeed proved inorganic and organic ingredients to the mortar.Later, the use of eggs in Charles Bridge mortar was confirmed.[2] The construction of Charles Bridge took place until the beginning of 15th century. To sustain the bridge, tolls were taken, first by the religious order of the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star, who had their mother-house nearby, then by the Old Town municipality (until 1815). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Bridge

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