The Charles Bridge is an ancient road between the Old Town and Lesser Town, from Křížovnický square to Mostecká Street. The bridge was founded by Czech king Charles (1316-1378) who let it constructed. He called builder Petr Parléř (1332-1399) for this task. First the bridge was called the Prague Bridge or also Stone Bridge. Only since 1870 it has borne the official name of Charles Bridge.
Its predecessor was Romanesque Judith Bridge, constructed about 1170 by Czech king Vladislaus I and it was named in the honour of his wife. It was constructed of sandstone blocks, nearly in the same place, just a little bit more on the north. It was a wonderful technical work at that time. It had 24 arches and it was 514 m long and 7 m wide. It was damaged by huge flood and it was removed in 1342.
Laing the foundation stone of its successor, gothic Charles Bridge, has its numeric mysticism and deep astrologic background. Charles IV had obviously delayed its foundation until he was sure of ideal position of heavenly bodies. Action of laying the foundation stone should have happened in 1357, on 9.7. at 5.31. Let’s arrange these numbers in symmetrical line 135797531. If we read them from the back now we will get the same date.
The Charles Bridge is a brilliant architectural and technical piece of the Luxembourg era with unique set of sculptures from 17th to 20th century. It is built of sandstone blocks, length of spanning is 496,78 m, and length of the bridge road is 515,76 m, wide of the road is 9,4-9,6 m. Width of stone parapets is 0,4 m. The bridge has 15 pillars and two abutments on the shores, which are connected with 16 spanning arches. Decorations are especially the Old-Town Bridge Tower and Judith and Lesser-Town Bridge Tower on the western side.
Currently there is running a general reconstruction of the bridge. It is divided in several phases so that the pedestrian traffic is kept.