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How to Visit Prague’s Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge

Place Details

Name: Charles Bridge

Rating: 4.5 / 5

City: Prague

Country: Czechia

Address: Karlův most, 110 00 Praha 1, Czechia

About Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

The Charles Bridge in Prague, a historic stone arch bridge spanning the Vltava River, dates back to 1357. Commissioned by King Charles IV, it was the sole river crossing until the mid-19th century. Adorned with 30 statues, mainly of saints, it’s a top attraction offering panoramic views. Connecting Lesser Town and Old Town’s two climbable towers provides a deeper glimpse into Prague’s past. Visitors enjoy early morning walks for a less crowded experience.

History of the Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge from Prague CastleCharles Bridge from Prague Castle
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Steadfastly watching over Prague, careening over the Vltava River, is the Charles Bridge or Karlův most. Long before it was one of the city’s top tourist attractions, the bridge was the only means of crossing the river until the mid-19th century. Construction on the stone bridge began in 1357 when the then kingdom of Bohemia was ruled by King Charles IV, hence the name.

Construction took roughly 50 years with Petr Parléř, the famed architect, behind it. He was one of the great architectural masters of the time. He is known for several other Prague buildings, like St. Vitus Cathedral, the Church of Our Lady before Týn, and Golden Lane.

The bridge connects Lesser Town (Malá Strana) and Old Town (Staré Mesto). At each end of the bridge are two bridge towers.

Visitors can climb up both towers if they wish. Both have relatively inexpensive tickets that are even 50% off if you visit during the first hour of the day.

The Statues

Prague's Charles Bridge Gothic statues against atmospheric skiesPrague's Charles Bridge Gothic statues against atmospheric skies
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Although not original elements of the bridge, the 30 statue residents along the Charles Bridge are its most famous sights. They were added starting in the 17th century. The first statue dated to 1683 is that of Saint John of Nepomuk, who was martyred in 1393 when King Wenceslas IV had him thrown from the bridge.

There is a brass cross marker on the bridge where the saint was thrown;…

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