The Charles Bridge is a famous historic bridge that crosses the Vltava river in Prague. Its construction started in 1357 under the auspices of King Charles IV, and finished in the beginning of the 15th century. The bridge replaced the old Judith Bridge built 1158–1172 that had been badly damaged by a flood in 1342. This new bridge was originally called the Stone Bridge (Kamenný most) or the Prague Bridge (Pražský most) but has been the 'Charles Bridge' since 1870. As the only means of crossing the river Vltava until 1841, the Charles Bridge was the most important connection between Prague Castle and the city's Old Town and adjacent areas. This 'solid-land' connection made Prague important as a trade route between Eastern and Western Europe.

The bridge is 621 metres long and nearly 10 metres 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, originally erected around 1700 but now all replaced by replicas.

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Founded: 1357
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Eli Phetteplace (6 months ago)
Classic beauty! This is an iconic bridge with beautiful statues along the whole walk. You can find people from all over the planet enjoying the view. A very romantic site, so bring a date or make new friends on your trip. There are a lot of street vendors on the bridge offering bracelets, jewelry, paintings for some keepsakes to take home. The best times to go are early in the morning and to catch a sunrise on the bridge before it gets busy; this is a beautiful location for some amazing pictures.
Rohit Vijan (6 months ago)
The best part of my entire Europe trip Of course everyone goes there,and of course is super crowded. We have been there in December and it was lots of tourist slowly walking, stopping for pictures, etc However when going after dawn we were able to really enjoy it's beauty. It's has amazing virws.... One would love standing there... Staring at water and lost in his own thoughts
Ernesto Chávez Féison (7 months ago)
The must representative place of Prague, amazing views of the river and the city, sculptures are amazing and very nice distributed all along the bridge. It is an excellent place to make snapshots of the city and the river, architecture is superb and it is wonderful seeing the artists playing music or painting pictures. I love this place, you should not miss visiting this place if you go to Prague .
Arnav Singh (7 months ago)
The must representative place of Prague, amazing views of the river and the city, sculptures are amazing and very nice distributed all along the bridge. It is an excellent place to make snapshots of the city and the river, architecture is superb and it is wonderful seeing the artists playing music or painting pictures. I love this place, you should not miss visiting this place if you go to Prague .
York Red (7 months ago)
I think the importance of this bridge as a bridge is what brings people to it. I think it was built by king Charles as one of the first major river crossings. As a structure it does not appear to have any particular architectural brilliance, but man does it attract the crowds. Good job it's pedestrianised as it's always full of people. There is a large tower on the eastern bank which I think you can climb. Nice views up towards the castle
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In the 15th century, the last Carinthian cup-bearer, Georg of Osterwitz was captured in a Turkish invasion and died in 1476 in prison without leaving descendants. So after four centuries, on 30 May 1478, the possession of the castle reverted to Emperor Frederick III of Habsburg.

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About 1541, German king Ferdinand I of Habsburg bestowed Hochosterwitz upon the Carinthian governor Christof Khevenhüller. In 1571, Baron George Khevenhüller acquired the citadel by purchase. He fortified to deal with the threat of Turkish invasions of the region, building an armory and 14 gates between 1570 and 1586. Such massive fortification is considered unique in citadel construction.

Since the 16th century, no major changes have been made to Hochosterwitz. It has also remained in the possession of the Khevenhüller family as requested by the original builder, George Khevenhüller. A marble plaque dating from 1576 in the castle yard documents this request.

A specific feature is the access way to the castle passing through a total of 14 gates, which are particularly prominent owing to the castle's situation in the landscape. Tourists are allowed to walk the 620-metre long pathway through the gates up to the castle; each gate has a diagram of the defense mechanism used to seal that particular gate. The castle rooms hold a collection of prehistoric artifacts, paintings, weapons, and armor, including one set of armor 2.4 metres tall, once worn by Burghauptmann Schenk.