Prague is cut into 4 distinct “towns” with 2 on either side of the river connected by the Charles Bridge. The “Castle Quarter” and “Little Quarter”on one side and the “Old Town” and “New Town” on the other. Until about 1800, Prague was actually four distinct towns with four town squares, all separated by fortified walls. The Castle Quarter contains the castle and political area. The Little Quarter, directly below the Castle Quarter is a quiet area containing gorgeous baroque architecture, cute alley ways and gardens. The Old Town holds most of the best preserved, original and historic part of the city including the Jewish Quarter and the Old Town Square. This is the heart of the Prague and where most of the tourism lies. The New Town contains the newest, more modern area of Prague that includes the spots where some of the most important political demonstrations have taken place. Each town contains significant sights and history. You should familiarize yourself with what each of these areas offer so you can plan your trip by hitting the best sights first! I will go over the highlights of each town in future posts.
Built in 1357, this Bridge is named after the King and Holy Roman Emperor who ruled his empire from Prague. This is my absolute favorite bridge of all of the bridges I’ve seen in Europe. To me, it beats any bridge in London, Paris or Rome. I just love the medieval Gothic look of it and how it makes such a dramatic and breathtaking picture below the castle that towers above it on the hill. There are so many things that make the Charles Bridge so great, but the highlight is the statues of saints lined up on either side of it. Each statue tells a story and I would advise everyone to read up on the most famous ones before you go.
The entrance into each town from either side of the bridge is incredibly picturesque. On one end you will stroll into the entrance of the Old Town where you will walk under a Gothic spire tower that is placed at the entrance of the bridge. As you walk through the tower, you will be greeted with two gorgeous churches. On the other end of the bridge that leads into the little quarter, you will walk under a different Gothic tower into an area that is full of charm and gorgeous architecture.
Until the 19th century, this was the only bridge that connected both sides of the river. Today, this bridge is pedestrian only where vendors sell artwork during the day and lovers stroll past local musicians at night. I would strongly recommend visiting the bridge during the day and at night so you can see every side of it. Charles Bridge is very romantic, especially at dusk and night and has a very different feel depending on what time of day it is. No matter what time you do go, I promise you it will be worth your while.
(Some photos I took, others are some I found on the internet)