Charles Bridge (Karluv Most) is another symbol of Prague and one of the oldest and most impressive old bridges in entire Europe, built-in 1357. There are a couple of bridges in Prague over the Vitava river but Charles Bridge is the most famous one of them. Its original name is Karluv Most, means the bridge of Karluv or Karl. Don’t forget to add to see St. Charles Bridge (Karluv Most) in your places to see in Prague list.
St. Charles Bridge (Karluv Most) History
Construction of the bridge started in 1357 by King Charles IV and it took 3 years to finish it. But in some sources claims that the finishing year of the is 1402. Actually there was another old bridge in the exact location of the Charles Bridge (Karluv Most). The Old Judith Bridge which was built between 1158 and 1172 badly damaged by the flood in 1342. A new stone bridge called a Stone Bridge or Prague Bridge at the beginning. But in time its gets a new name “Charles Bridge”.
Since 1870, everyone calls the bridge with its new name. This bridge was the most important connection between the Prague Castle and Prague Old Town until 1841. Also, a very major and crucial route for trade route of Europe’s western and eastern parts. Length of the bridge is 516 meters and almost 10 meters width, its only open for the pedestrian crossing.
Charles Bridge (Karluv Most) Statues
The most distinguishing feature of the bridge is its statues because there are 30 statues along the pedestrian way on it. You can check all the statues from the list below. The most important ones are the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV and Jonh of Nepomuk who was Czech’s most loved and revered saint.
Statues on the north side of the bridge
- Statue of the Madonna attending to St. Bernard
- Built-in 1709 by the Matej Vaclav and donated by the abbot of the monastery in Osek.
- Statue of the Madonna, Ss. Dominic and Thomas Aquinas
- Built-in 1708 by the Matej Vaclav. Expenses sponsored by the Dominicans Convent of St. Gile in the Prague Old Town.
- The Crucifix and Calvary
- One of the most historic sculptures on the bridge. Originally built-in 1361 and destroyed by the Hussites in 1419. A new crucifix built-in 1629 but also damaged like the previous one in Thirty Years War.
- Statue of St. Anne
- Another design of the Matej Vaclav in 1707. Statue represents the mother of the Virgin Mary as a young girl.
- Statue of St. Cyril and St. Methodius
- Designed and built by the Karel Dvorak between 1928 and 1939. You can see a portrait of Saints Cyril and Methodius who were missionaries introduced Christianity to the Slavs.
- Statue of St. John the Baptist
- The original statue in here was portraying the baptism of Jesus by the St. Jonh but it replaced with a statue showing the St. John’s standing position.
- Statue of Saints Norbert of Xanten, Wenceslas and Sigismund
- Josef Max design the statue in 1853 and expenses paid by the Dr. Jeronym Ziedler from Strahov Monatery.
- Statue of St. John of Nepomuk
- This one is the oldest statue on the bridge. Its original style was made from clay by the Matthias Rauchmüller based on a wooden model made by the Jan Brokoff. St. John of Nepomuk was thrown to the Vitara river from the bridge and drowned in 1393. Almost every tour cames to this statue and touches it. It is like a tradition.
- Statue of St. Anthony of Padua
- This statue designed by Jan Oldrich Mayer in 1707 and the expenses sponsored by the Kristof Morice Withauer a member of Prague Castle.
- Statue of St. Jude Thaddeus
- You will see the St. Jude is holding a rod on this statue. It was designed by Jan Oldrich Mayer in 1708, one year later from St. Anthony of Padua’s statue.
- Statue of St. Augustine
- Jan Bedrich Kohl this statue of St. Augustine while holding a hook and burning heart on his hand in 1708.
- Statue of St. Cajetan
- Ferdinan Brokoff designed this statue in 1709. You will the St. Cajetan holding a book and standing before an obelisk. That obelisk represents the Holy Trinity. Also, St. Catejan was the founder of the religious order of Theatins.
- Statue of St. Philip Benitius
- The statue built by the Bernard Mandel in 1714 and portrays the St. Philip Benitius. St. Philip Benitiun was the 5th general of the Servites. You can also see the crown of the Pope by his legs.
- Statuary of St. Vitus
- St. Vitus was a Roman aristocrat who sacrificed his life on behalf of his faith. Ferdinand Brokoff made the statue of St. Vitus in 1714. Also, there is a St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague Castle where should be seen.
- Statue of the Holy Savior with Cosmas and Damian
- This statue shows Jesus with his saints and it was made by the Jan Oldrich Mayer in 1709.
Statues on the south side of the bridge
- Statue of St. Ivo
- Statue made by the Matthias Braun in 1711. Expenses of the statue paid by the Law Faculty of Charles University in Prague.
- Statues of saints Barbara, Margaret and Elizabeth
- Another heritage of the Ferdinand Brokoff from 1707.
- Statue of the Lamentation of Christ
- Emanuel Max designed this statue in 1858. You will see Mary Magdalene and Virgin Mary while they are mourning for the death of Christ.
- Statue of St. Joseph
- The original statue of St. Joseph was designed in 1706 by the Josep Max and expenses paid by the Josef Bergmann.
- Statue of St. Francis Xavier
- The original statue of St. Francis Xavier made by the Ferdinand Brokoff in 1711 and it replaced with its replica by the Cenek Vosmik in 1913.
- Statue of St. Christopher
- You can see on this statue a saint holding christ as a boy on his shoulder. Designer of the statue was the Emanuel Max, in the year of 1857.
- Statue of St. Francis Borgia
- This statue portrays St. Francis Borgia with two angels. Ferdinand Brokoff commissioned the statue in 1710.
- Statue of St. Ludmila
- The origin of the statue doesn’t know exactly but it was probably designed by the Matthias Braun around 1730.
- Statue of St. Francis of Assisi
- Another sculpture of Emanuel Max. He was designed the statue in 1855 and all the expenses covered by the Frantisek Antonin Kolowrat Liebsteinsky, very long name 🙂
- Statue of Saints Vincent Ferrer and Procopius + Bruncvík column
- One of the most important pieces on the statue which was sculpted by the Ferdinan Brokoff in 1712. You will see St. Vincent on the left side of the statue with a coffin and kneeling penitent sinner by his legs. Don’t forget to take look at this one.
- Statue of St. Nicholas of Tolentino
- Jan Bedrich Kohl sculpted this statue in 1708 and expenses paid by the Augustinian order. You will see a saint and an angel holding a basket of bread.
- Statue of St. Luthgard (Dream of St. Luthgard)
- Another important statue on the Charles Bridge should be seen is the Statue of St. Luthgard. Michael and Ferdinan Brokoff designed the statue in 1710.
- Statue of St. Adalbert
- Markus Bernard who was the councillor of Old Town of Prague paid the expenses of this statue. Once more again, Michael and Ferdinand Brokoff designed the statue in 1709.
- Statues of Saints John of Matha, Felix of Valois, and Ivan
- This one is the most expensive statue on the bridge and it was designed by the Ferdinand Brokoff in 1714. The statue made to honour the two founders of the Trinitarians.
- Statue of St. Wenceslas
- Karel Böhm designed the statue in 1858. You will see the saint is praying while looking to the sky.
Where is Charles Bridge (Karluv Most)?
Charles Bridge (Karluv Most) almost can be seen from anywhere in central Prague. Even today, the bridge is a very central crossing path for the pedestrians. Visiting the Charles Bridge (Karluv Most) is very easy because of its central location. You can take a nice walk from Prague Castle to the west entrance of the bridge. Or the other walking is from the Old Town of Prague and Astronomical Watch Tower to the east entrance of the bridge. The bridge is 7/24 open for visitors without entrance fee or tickets. Malostranské náměstí is the closes tram station on the western side of the bridge and Karlovy lázně on the eastern side.
Nearby Attractions and Places
Walking through Charles Bridge (Karluv Most) would take around 30 to 40 minutes if you take a look at each one of the statues, maybe even more. I’m writing down the top 10 attraction and places close to the bridge that you can visit and see.
- Beer Museum
- Bedrich Smetana Museum
- Charles Bridge Museum
- Old Town Bridge Tower
- Franz Kafka Museum
- Karel Zeman Museum
- Werichova villa
- Museum Kampa
Please share your thoughts and experiences on the comment section about the oldest bridge of the Czech, Charles Bridge (Karluv Most). Also, please feel free to ask questions.