Friday, September 14, 2012

Prague in 6 Hours (Part 2) - Charles Bridge on Vltava

8:30 a.m. -  10:00 a.m. - After we saw the Opera House in Part 1, we headed for the banks of Vltava River. The longest river in the Czech Republic crosses the capital from north to south, offering stunning views to those who take a stroll along its banks.
We walked from Chechuv Most (most = bridge) to famous Karluv Most (Charles Bridge) and took numerous pictures of the West bank panorama: the Prague Castle and St. Nicholas Cathedral, Kafka's Museum and... terrace. In fact, there are numerous restaurants and gardens on both banks and they open at 9 a.m. sharp. And not only those meant for tourists, but all of them. Beer for the Czech is like tea in the morning for the Brits.

Soon we spotted historic Charles Bridge. Built by Charles IV in the 14th century, the bridge has been for hundreds of years (until 1870) the only way of crossing Vltava River on foot, connecting Prague Castle and the Old Town.

This is maybe one of the busiest places in the Czech capital. Herds  of Asian and Western tourists are unloaded here everyday by the tourist agencies to see the 621 meter-bridge and its 30 baroque statues and statuaries that portray saints and patron saints venerated around the 16th century. The bridge Tower in the Old Town is considered to be one of the most stunning Gothic-style buildings in the world:

During the day, the bridge is packed both with tourists and with local traders, artists, and craftspeople. They sell mostly souvenirs, paintings, and jewelery. There are also street artists and musicians, as well as a jazz band. For a truly romantic and less crowded stroll, try early morning or any time in the evening. The light is also wonderful at that time.
There is also a fine collection of Love Locks. What you have to do is to take a padlock, lock it to the gate and then throw the key into the river, which symbolizes everlasting love in your relationship. Oookey!

How to get there: Charles Bridge, Old Town, Prague 1; Metro: Staromestska (line A); Tram stop: Staromestska (trams 17, 18, 53).

Prague Part 1

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