Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Some day I'll fly away

Two young women on Charles Bridge taking turns to photograph each other. It's a strange thing, the Japanese give the two fingered peace sign when they have their photos taken but in Prague the fashion seems to be to spread your arms. Maybe they are trying to take it all in or perhaps they are just saying 'I love you this much'

Charles Bridge is a stone Gothic bridge that connects the Old Town and Malá Strana. It was actually called the Stone Bridge (Kamenný most) during the first several centuries. Its construction was commissioned by Czech king and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV and began in 1357. In charge of the construction was architect Petr Parléř whose other works include the St. Vitus Cathedral at the Prague Castle. It is said that egg yolks were mixed into the mortar to strengthen the construction of the bridge.

Charles Bridge is one of the many monuments that were built during Charles' reign but it is not the first bridge that ever connected the Prague banks of the Vltava. Another bridge used to stand in its place - the Judith Bridge, which was the first stone bridge over the river. It was built in 1172 and collapsed in a flood in 1342.

Unlike its predecessor, Charles Bridge has survived many floods, most recently in August 2002 when the country experienced the worst flood in the past 500 years - so the egg yolks must not have been such a bad idea.