Top 6 best bridges to see in Prague
The Czech capital of Prague is also known as The City of a Hundred Spires. The thing about the bridges in Prague is the uniqueness and the history attached to each one of them. Built over different periods, different centuries and by different people, the bridges all have one aim: to provide transport and connect people. But apart from that, they draw a large number of tourists to the city!
Amazingly, seventeen bridges are cross the Vltava River, the longest river around, and the bridges are close to each other which gives the city a unique look!
Here are just five of the most spectacular bridges in the beautiful city of Prague.
1. Charles Bridge
The Charles Bridge crosses the Vltava river in Prague and was constructed in 1357 under the auspices of King Charles IV. The bridge took almost half a century to build! The Charles Bridge until 1841 was the only bridge over the Vltava River. Since the magnificent and historic landmark is really old, it has undergone several restoration procedures. The bridge was for a long time the connection between East and Western Europe and was therefore important for the economy of the area. It has 16 pillars and 30 statues that don the structure- each with an exciting story, lanterns, two towers on both ends which depict a gothic feel. The Mostecka Streets will take you straight to the Charles Bridge and the Prague Castle is nearby so one cannot miss it.
The bridge connects the Old Town and Lesser Town and was originally known as the Stone Bridge during the beginning. People, locals, and mostly tourists touch the polished plaque of St John for good luck, and legend also says that touching it means that one will return to Prague!
2. Cechuv Bridge
The Cechuv Bridge might be the shortest in Prague at only 170 meters but it is magnificent in design and its history is amazing. It was built in the 20th Century between 1905 and 1908 and is the 10th bridge over the Vltava River. The bridge’s construction using iron reflects the period’s industrial building construction and the decorations on it are reminiscent of amazing houses and the palaces at the time.
The bridge connects the Letna Park and the Prague Jewish Quarter and one of the most notable things about it is its magnificent decoration- it has four bronze sculptures designed by Antonin Popp and the columns are figures of genii. The bridge was named after Svatopluk Čech, the famous Czech journalist, writer, and poet. The beautiful bridge has eye-catching sculptures that were done sculptors Klusáček, Wurzel, Popp, and Amort four of the sculptures are on the pylons and they give the bridge a great look. The bridge is made of steel and stone and the view from the waterfront is even more amazing.
From since inception, the bridge was to be a gateway to the city and it still is, as it connects and transports millions of people every year!
3. Legion bridge
The bridge got its current name after World War II; it was built in the architectural design neo-Art Nouveau and neo-Baroque as an initiative of Vojtěch Lanna, a businessman. It was constructed between 1898 and 1901; it replaced Emperor Francis I’s Chain Bridge. It was built using granite rocks and undergoes repairs often.
The spectacular Střelecký Island is accessible from this bridge, an amazing cultural center and connects the Lesser Town and the National Boulevard from this point, one will get magnificent views of the Vltava River. In the past, the two towers on the extreme ends of the 16-meter-wide and 343-meter-long bridge used to be poll stations.
4. Manes Bridge
The Manes bridge is a bridge of diversity. It has a lot of history attached to it and so many things to look out for! The bridge, opened in 1914 was named after Josef Manes a 19th Century Czech painter. It was originally made of Mosaic but over time has been modified to allow even cars and a tramline to pass. Before the current bridge was constructed there was a footbridge on the location known as the Iron or Rudolf’s footbridge which was constructed between 1868 and 1869 which had two-three pillars; one in the river and two at the riverbanks. It was suspended by chains and was initially constructed to be used on foot only.
The bridge has four arches and is about 186 meters, and when one is on the bridge, one can see the plaques made to honor famous Czech composers. Vltava swimmers can also be spotted from this bridge!
5. Palacky Bridge
This bridge with its granite finish is a sight to behold. It is also the third-oldest stone bridge in Prague, and has seven bold arches and is named after František Palacký a Czech politician and historian. Legend says that Albert Einstein used this bridge in his daily commute to the German University in Prague. The bridge dates back to 1876 and its construction was informed by the rapidly growing population in the Smichov Area. The 229-meter-long bridge was bombed in 1941, had to be taken apart in 1947 and put back together in 1951.
At first, the bridge was decorated with different sculptures of Czech mythology by Josef Myslbek, but after WWII, they were moved to the Vyšehrad Park.
6. Vyšehrad Railway Bridge
The bridge was built in 1872 and rebuilt in 1901. It links the Smichov alley and the Nusle Valley. The initial bridge was a single track like between Franz Joseph Train Station and Smichov Train Station. At some point, it became insufficient and the new bride had to be built.
The bridge does not have an official name, the current name but people just called it Vyšehrad. Spectacular views from the railway bridge are the Prague Castle and Hradčany. Even though this is a railway bridge, there is a sidewalk for people to take a stroll as well. One can take a boat ride and the view of Prague and especially that of St Peter and Paul Church from the Vltava river is amazing.