At first we saw the bridge and the castle above from afar.
|Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral on the other bank of the river|
|Charles IV Bridge|
As we approached, we tried to take a short cut which was really a dead end. It worked out for Jacob since we saw a waterfall and a handsome statue of Bedrich Smetana, famed Czech composer. A museum dedicated to Smetana is nearby.
|Awesome composer Bedrich Smetana|
Coming back around the dead end, we found the entrance to the bridge. Nearby were several churches, one part of the Klementinium, a Jesuit university founded in 1653. The other is dedicated to St. Francis Seraphinus, also from the 1600s.
|One of many churches in the Klementinium|
|St. Francis Seraphinus Church|
The bridge begins with the bridge tower. Statues of Czech kings and saints look down on the pedestrians.
|Detail of tower|
Nearby is the ubiquitous "lovers' locks" left by couples who declare their love by putting a padlock with their initials on the fence. Keys are traditionally thrown in the river to show that they'll never break up. We've run into this before in other cities like Heidelberg.
|Lucy, Froggy, and the locks!|
Passing through the gate, we found the great variety of statues on the bridge. Here is a sampling.
|Charles IV, Emperor for whom the bridge is named|
|Madonna and St. Bernard, founder of the Cistercians, c. 1709|
|St. Ivo, 11th c. Bishop of Chartres, c. 1711|
|Sts. Dominic and Thomas Aquinas with the Madonna and child, c. 1709|
|Hebrew Cross, inscription is "Holy, holy, holy Lord" c. 1657|
The views from the bridge are quite spectacular as well. We noticed these buildings that were built on the water with the river running underneath them!
|A river runs under it|
|Manesuv Bridge down river|
We didn't go all the way across the bridge since the children's energy was flagging. We headed back into our side of the river and looked for a snack. We spotted some more interesting buildings along the way.
|Which way do we go?|
|Interesting decoration on a building, not sure what it means|
|Rail trams and cars share tunnels|
Our next destination was the Old Market Square, which is coming next!