Narrow bridges

Continuation of the fairy tale in Prague: bridges, castles, legends and dance

I described some of Prague’s must-see places in my first Prague article, but Prague is such a rich place in this regard that one can write pages upon pages about this city. So, let’s get to know the iconic structures that come to mind when we say Prague and other must-see places of this European beauty.

Charles Bridge

I don’t know how to express my admiration for the Charles Bridge, which spans the Vlatva River, adding a whole new atmosphere to the city. The bridge fascinates you when you walk on it, but it charms you even more in a different way when you look at it from a distance. No matter where you take a picture of the bridge, whether on it or on the banks of the Vlatva River, you experience a different kind of beauty.

The bridge, which is 515 meters (1,693 feet) long and features 30 statues of saints, was completed in exactly 50 years. The sculptures, the originals of which are in the Lapiadrum National Museum, each have distinct stories.

Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic. (Photo Shutterstock)

The most famous statue on the bridge belongs to Saint John Nepomucene. It is the oldest statue on the bridge and it also has a dramatic history. According to the story, Wenceslaus I, the wife of the Duke of Bohemia, constantly traveled to Saint John of Nepomucene to go to confession. The king thinks his wife cheated on him and has therefore confessed. He asks John what his wife said during the confession. However, when John says he cannot share this information and must keep his promise before God, the king orders Saint John of Nepomuk to be thrown into the Vltava River. The saint is thrown into the waters where his statue now stands. According to the story, when John was thrown into the river, a halo formed in the river and he attained the status of a saint. It is said that if you touch the dog and woman reliefs just below the statue, you are destined to visit Prague again. These stories of wishes, which exist in many cities, are found in many parts of the Charles Bridge. We don’t know which is true, but those who want to come back to Prague can give it a try. There is another sculpture on the bridge that particularly catches my eye, the Ottoman statue. With the figure of the Ottoman soldier waiting at the gate of the dungeon, the fear felt against the Ottomans at that time was reflected in the sculpture.

There are not only statues but also many legends about the construction of the bridge. According to one of the legends, the workers who built this place added raw eggs and milk to the mortar to strengthen the bridge. Another concerns the date of construction of the bridge. It is said that the construction of the bridge began on July 9, 1357, at 5:31 a.m. Astronomers believe that this date would bring good luck. At the same time, when you write the year, day, month and time side by side, the number 135797531 appears. Do you see the symmetry that emerges when you read these numbers from right and left? Finally, in the statue of the bearded man, they believe that when the water reaches the man’s eyes and nose, Prague will be submerged.

On the bridge, you will see many colorful figures such as painters, musicians and street artists, in addition to sculptures. I can guarantee you will want to cross this bridge a few more times before leaving Prague. The Gothic towers at both ends of the bridge welcome you with all their majesty, as if giving the city its name of the hundred towers.

Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic.  (Photo Shutterstock)

Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic. (Photo Shutterstock)

prague castle

If you wish, you can start your Prague tour here. You can also take a tourist route from the castle, which overlooks the whole city. Covering an area of ​​approximately 70,000 square meters (750,000 square feet), Prague Castle is listed in the “Guinness Book of Records” as the largest complex of ancient castles in the world with its towers, churches, houses , its palaces, monasteries and large gardens.

When you come to Prague, you may need to dedicate a day to visit this castle. The Old Royal Palace, St. George’s Basilica, Golden Lane, St. Vitus Cathedral and the Great Cathedral South Tower are some of the highlights.

St. Vitus Cathedral, which is one of the castle’s most magnificent buildings, impresses both inside and out, but it actually has a creepy atmosphere to some. The statues found outside are said to represent evil spirits and the devil.

A view of the city from the bell tower of the castle, in Prague, Czech Republic.  (Getty Images Photo)

A view of the city from the bell tower of the castle, in Prague, Czech Republic. (Getty Images Photo)

The Golden Way

This street, which takes its name from the jewelers who lived there in the 17th century, is not dominated by gold which will dazzle your eyes, contrary to what one might think, but will lift your spirits with its colorful houses. Once upon a time there were artists and craftsmen who lived in the houses, and in this street the original purpose was to meet the housing needs of the palace officials. House no. 22, where Franz Kafka lived, is also located on this street. If you don’t count the room where the instruments of torture are displayed on the walls of the castle, which can be reached from the Golden Lane, this magical street can lighten your heart.

The narrow street in Prague, Czech Republic.  (Getty Images Photo)

The narrow street in Prague, Czech Republic. (Getty Images Photo)

The narrowest street in the world

You may have heard of other streets claiming this title around the world, but apart from how narrow this street is in Prague, the fact that it has traffic lights makes it even more special. This street, which is 10 meters long and only 48 centimeters (18.8 inches) wide, is located in Prague’s oldest district, Mala Strana.

There are two green lights at the start and end of the street. These lights have the same rule as the traffic lights we all know. They are used so that people don’t cross the street at the same time and bump into each other, but this rule is not widely followed, because everyone is eager to take pictures in this very popular narrow street.

The dance house

Although it stands out as being very post-modern within the city’s gothic and baroque architecture, to the point of shocking some, this crazy building with its unique posture deserves to be taken with some crazy photos in front of it. him. The house, which symbolizes a dancing couple, is also called Fred and Ginger, after the iconic Hollywood dancing couple, Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.

The Dance Building, in Prague, Czech Republic.  (Getty Images Photo)

The Dance Building, in Prague, Czech Republic. (Getty Images Photo)

Kafka Museum

The Kafka Museum is right next to Charles Bridge as you cross Old Town Square. Eerie music and sound effects greet you when you enter the museum, which is very different from regular museums.

In the museum located on the banks of the Vltava River, you can see the originals of many Kafka works, especially the letters to Milena. The Kafka Museum is one of the must-see places for those who want to discover an extraordinary museum.

After all the places and details I mentioned, when I talk about Prague, I always think something is missing. Perhaps these shortcomings can only be filled by going to Prague. In fact, it should be added to the list of places to go not once, but twice or three times.

In my opinion, you have to go to Prague twice to discover the beautiful city, and once only for pleasure. Perhaps you should sit down at Café Slavia and sip your hot coffee while watching the Vltava River in one of its streets taking you back to the Middle Ages. As you slowly progress through Prague, you have to breathe in the city air and feel its rhythm.