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Charles Bridge: A Beautiful Sight to Behold in Prague

December 29, 2011 - 2:24am
Charles Bridge: A Beautiful Sight to Behold in Prague
The Charles Bridge in Prague is the oldest bridge in the Czech city, and the ornate statues and decorations that line the structure make it a destination worth visiting on Europe tours. It is both a beautiful display of art and architecture from past centuries and a perfect spot for visitors to snap a few photos of the cityscape.

King Charles IV commissioned its construction in 1357 to replace one that was damaged by floods a few years earlier. Both ends of the bridge, which is roughly one-third of a mile long, are fortified by towers - the Lesser Town Bridge Tower and the Old Town Bridge Tower. The entrance gate at the Old Town Tower is said to be one of the most beautiful examples of Gothic architecture in Europe.

The first sculptures lining the bridge were built in 1683, and the last of 30 different displays of saints was added in 1928. In 1965, the original artworks were moved to the Czech Republic's National Museum, but replicas were erected in their place.

The statues that currently adorn the bridge may not be the originals, but visitors can still experience the bridge the way others have known it for hundreds of years. To best experience the spectacular sight, travelers might want to consider crossing the walkway after nightfall when the city is illuminated and the reflections sparkle in the Charles River.