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ŠTEFÁNIK BRIDGE

GPS: 50°5'39.12"N, 14°25'36.84"E

In the place of the present bridge there used to stand a chain bridge in the past, named after Emperor Franz Joseph I. Laying the foundation stone happened on 19th October 1865. Construction was then realized in 1865-1868, according to design by two young London engineers Rordisch and Lefeuver, who had won in the announced competition. The city of Prague charged ing. František Schön with commanding the building work. Iron bridge parts were delivered and assembly work was realized by company Ruston a spol. Length of the bridge, including pillars and abutments, was 250 m, width was almost 10 m. It had not only an imposing suspended structure, but the architecturally resolved bridge towers became objects of admiration, too. The ceremonious opening of the bridge was held on 13th May 1868, with attendance of Emperor Franz Joseph I.

After 1890 this bridge was successively reconstructed and rebuilt because of serious static reasons. On this occasion the suspension chains of the bridge deck were replaced with wire lines. In 1919 the name of the bridge changed in the honour of Slovak astronomer, pilot and politician Milan Rastislav Štefánik. In 30’s of the previous century the bridge was not satisfying the increasing Prague traffic anymore and construction of a new bridge started to be pondered. So in 1941-1942 a provisional wooden bridge was constructed aside. Thus it was possible to dismount the original bridge and cut it to scrap. But even before in 1940, the bridge changed its name to the Bridge of Leoš Janáček.

Right in its place, in the axis of Revolutionary Avenue, there was constructed a new bridge in 1949-1951, named after the founding member of KSČ, Jan Šverma. The reinforced-concrete bridge is 243 m long and it consists of three segmental arches with dimensions of 59 - 65 m. Width of the bridge deck is 24, 4 m. Authors of the design were ing. Oldřich Širc, ing. Vlastislav Hofman and prof. ing. dr. Václav Dašek. As a road the bridge is connected to Letná tunnel, 426 m long and built in 1949 – 1953. In 1997 the bridge was renamed Štefánik Bridge. Till now the last huge reconstruction was realized in 2007.