The Charles Bridge

Located in Prague, Czech Republic, the old historic Charles Bridge crosses the Vltava River. King Charles IV ordered its construction in 1357 and it was finished at the start of the 15th century. Originally named the “Stone” or “Prague Bridge,” the structure was renamed “Charles Bridge” in 1870. Measuring 2,037 feet (621 m) in length and 33 feet (10 m) in diameter, the structure consists of 16 arches and was designed as a bow bridge. Over 1,700 statues serve as decorations around the bridge.


The sole purpose of the Charles Bridge was to replace the Judith Bridge. Established in 1158, that structure experienced severe damage during a flood in 1342. Until 1841, the Charles Bridge was the connection between the city’s Old Town and Prague Castle. As the sole means of linking Western and Eastern Europe, the Charles Bridge became a crucial trade route.