Even when it's groaning under the weight of sketch artists, jazz musicians, trinkets and tourists, there's no resisting the charm of the Charles Bridge ('Karlův most' in Czech). Its 500 meters (1,640 feet) link the Old Town with Castle Hill and provide some of the best views of the city and of the graceful river Vltava.
It was built in the 15th century to replace the older Judith Bridge, which had been swept away by floods. The Charles Bridge (originally called the Stone Bridge - the name was changed in the 19th century) has proved remarkably resilient. Some say it's down to the eggs mixed into its mortar.
What makes the bridge so special is its rows of blackened baroque saints, each attended by angels and lions and followers. The statues emerging from the mists of a Prague dawn is one of the loveliest sights of the city.
If you want to make sure you come back to Prague, touch the statue of St. John of Nepomuk (he was martyred by being thrown into the river from the bridge). It's supposed to bring good luck, too.
Review by Susan H, November 2012
Doing what: Historic Prague Walking Tour including King's Route and Charles Bridge
There were only 4 people on our tour and the two women with my husband and I spoke Italian and we spoke English. Our tour guide accommodated both of us as he spoke both languages,Prague is beautiful and so interesting. The highlights of the tour -Charles Bridge,St. Nicholas, the Clock,artists' island,Church of the Children,Ulatava River,Old Town Square,Republic Square,Smiricky Palace,Municipal House,Powder gate and National Theatre. He allowed time for picture taking but kept us moving so we could see everything. This was a great tour.
What a fantastic tour! The Czech guide was a wealth of knowledge, and had an obvious passion for her city. She was aware of all her group members, and as the group was not too large (a minibus full), she was able to answer questions and provide more of the personal touch. I felt as though I had learned so much about Prague, its history, lifestyle and people by the time the day was over it has inspired me to want to go back. The only thing I regretted about this tour was it did not provide us an opportunity to visit Charles Bridge. For those who had time, it would have been an easy matter to walk there later, however,
What a great way to start my trip in Prague. I got to Prague late in the afternoon, jet lagged and tired. I took and nap and then went on this tour. Not really a "Ghost" tour, more of a "Legends" tour. But, also a great way to get your bearings for the rest of your stay in Prague. My guide was very informative. There were 3 of us on the tour, so it was very personal. We saw Old Town, the Jewish Quarter and the Charles Bridge. We were supposed to walk across the bridge and see part of Lesser Town, but I was tired and the couple wanted to have dinner. So be stopped at the Charles Bridge. My guide even walked me to the metro and road part of the way back to the hotel with me. If you are expecting ghosts and ghoulies, this is not the trip for you. But, if you want to have a better understanding of the layout of Prague and some of it's history, sign up now!
The Charles Bridge links the Old Town and Castle Hill over the river Vltava.