Prague’s bridges over the Vltava River are one of the most picturesque aspects of the city, especially the famed Charles Bridge, begun in 1357 and completed in the early 1400s during the reign of King Charles IV. Imagine that. This stone bridge has been standing for over 700 years!
We walked the bridge one afternoon on our way to the Czech National Museum of Music. It was the only bridge over the Vltava (Moldau in German) until 1841 and was the major connection between Prague Castle and the Old and New Town sections of the city.
The bridge is lined with 30 statues, most of them from the Baroque era, though today the statues are replicas. One of the most famous is the statue of Saint John of Nepomuk, the saint of Bohemia, one of the three provinces that make up the Czech Republic. who drowned in the Vltava. In 1393 John was thrown into the Vltava on orders of King Venceslaus, presumably because he was the queen’s confessor and refused to give up the secrets of the confessional. He became the first martyr of the Seal of the Confessional. He’s also considered to be a protector from floods and drowning. The stars around his head come from the legend that when his body hit the water, stars appeared. Touching the statue is supposed to bring good luck.
More photos of the river and bridges:
Once we reached the museum of music, we wandered through the exhibits, mostly looking for old violins for research, but I used to play piano, so I had to stop to take some pictures of my favorite instrument.
We enjoyed the afternoon excursion, very much, but our feet and knees were complaining long before we got back to the hotel. Prague is a walking city, but it’s not easy on the feet and knees! More next week.