Charles Bridge (Karluv Most)
Karluv Most © Kiko Leon
The pedestrian Charles Bridge serves as a focal point for tourists in Prague and is the most photographed feature of the city. Construction began in 1357 to replace the earlier Judith Bridge of which the only remaining part is one of the towers at the Malá Strana gate that can be climbed for a view of the city. Up until 1841 this was the only bridge in Prague and the only means of crossing the Vltava River. The bridge was closed to traffic in 1978 and has been a pedestrian bridge ever since. The 30 statues of saints were originally erected between 1683 and 1714 and they create a unique mixture of artistic styles, with the Baroque and the Gothic intermingled.
During the day there is usually a festive crowd on the bridge; throngs of people pick their way through the happy congestion caused by buskers, artists and musicians lining the bridge, positioned between the saintly sandstone statues that make this the most picturesque and lively of attractions. At night, however, the bridge is quiet and visitors should make an effort to see it in this state as well: some beautiful photographs can be taken of the Charles Bridge in the evening and at night once the crowds have dispersed and only the statues stand guard.
Transport: Metro to Staromestská or tram 17, 18, 51 or 54