Charles Bridge or Karlov Most in Czech represents the oldest Prague Gothic bridge connecting the Old Town and the Lesser Town. Initially it was simply known as the Stone Bridge or Prague Bridge. The bridge has actually been known as “Charles Bridge” since 1870. Bristling with statuary and crowded with people, the Charles Bridge is by far the city's most famous monument. Built in the fourteenth century by Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, the bridge originally featured just a simple crucifix until when Statue of St John of Nepomuk (picture way below) appeared. His statue was such a propaganda success that the Catholic church authorities ordered another 21 to be erected in the early 17th century on Charles Bridge. Taken collectively, set against the backdrop of the Prague Castle, the effect of those statues is breathtaking. From a photographic point of view, it’s an interesting place to observe life, both locals and tourists and a picturesque backdrop to practice street photography or photojournalism, or even a little architecture if the fancy takes you.
从布拉格广场穿过蜿蜒的查理士街, 便见到横跨塔沃尔塔瓦河的查理士桥了, 这里也是整座布拉格老城的精华所在. 精华必然浓缩, 这句话形容查理士桥很恰当. 小桥不长, 不到 10 米间宽, 仅供行人通行, 铺地的方石早已被打磨的光亮铁青, 两边古典的街灯仿佛也已存在了一个世纪.
站在大桥上瞭望四周, 皆是华丽的哥特式尖顶与皇家的贵族雕像, 斑驳的墙壁承载着久远而辉煌的过去, 竟然看不到一丝现代建筑的痕迹. 这样的情况, 即便在一些文物保存较好的西欧城市也是很难见到, 更何况布拉格曾经作为一座社会主义国家的首都几十年之久, 那些有着社会主义的表情的高大厂房, 成排的职工宿舍, 空旷的大道和办公大楼, 在布拉格老城竟然没有留下一丝痕迹, 让我顿时觉得诧异. 当然随着在布拉格行走的深入, 才发现这一切也只是限于布拉格的老城, 而在老城的外围, 那些社会主义表情的建筑就会比比皆是, 那些似曾相识的建筑, 总会勾起一些童年的记忆.
每个稍具规模的欧洲城市都不会缺少地标性格的建筑场景, 不论是古老的教堂, 广场, 还是现代的铁塔, 摩天高楼, 基本上都脱离不了塑造一种要人抬头的景仰. 在布拉格, 这些拥有相当高度的建筑并不匮乏, 却无一能够顶衔城市的地标荣耀, 反倒是跨越维尔塔瓦河的查理士桥, 长久以来就如磁石一般, 紧紧地吸引着每一吋步伐的停驻. 一步步亲近查理士桥的过程, 不仅只是一段路径, 更是一连串的酿酝.
Charles Bridge serves as an extraordinary gallery in the open air – displaying its rich sculptural decoration. The bridge is now one of the city's most popular places to hang out, day and night: the crush of sightseers never abates during the day, when the niches created by the bridge-piers are occupied by souvenir-hawkers and buskers, but at night calm down a bit and the views are, if anything, even more spectacular. You can climb both of the mighty Gothic bridge towers for a bird's-eye view of the masses pouring across. One side of the bridge features two unequal towers, connected by the entrance to the bridge.
位置是在捷克中波希米亚州布拉格城旧城广场西边, 横跨伏尔他瓦河, 连结捷克旧城区, 新城区和城堡区. 查尔斯桥是捷克最古老的一座石制古桥, 它横跨伏尔塔瓦河, 两端连着布拉格城堡和旧城区, 是历代国王加冕游行的必经之路. 布拉格人非常看重这座桥, 因为这是早年唯一连接东岸老城区和西岸城堡的桥, 非常重要.
A panoramic shot offers beautiful views of the Vltava river, the Prague Castle complex and other bridges.
布拉格每年要吸引超过两百万世界各国的游客来朝圣, 夏天尤其热闹. 这个数字是布拉格总人口的两倍. 连欧洲人自己都爱来, 因为这里就等於一页欧洲中世纪历史, 是著名古都.
The bridge is more than 500 meters long and nearly 10 m wide, resting on arches shielded by ice guards. It is protected by three bridge towers, two of them on the Lesser Quarter side and the third one on the Old Town side. The Old Town bridge tower is often considered to be one of the most astonishing civil gothic-style buildings in the world. The bridge is decorated by a continuous alley of 30 statues and statuaries, most of them baroque-style, erected around 1700.
The panoramic view over the Vltava River to the Lesser Town and Prague Castle is a sight that epitomises Prague's beauty.
桥的另一端, 是布拉格城堡, 也是捷克的旧皇宫, 现在则是总统府所在地. 高耸在丘陵上, 确实有着王者之气.
Prague's most familiar monument connects the Old Town with the Little Quarter. It is now pedestrianised but at one time could take four carriages abreast.
In charge of the construction of the Charles Bridge was the same architect 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.
Why has Charles Bridge stood for so long? This is a Bridge Tale. One great yarn through the ages has it that when stones for the bridge were being laid, the master builders mixed eggs into the mortar to strengthen the bond. At the time of the bridge's construction, one village allegedly tried to impress Emperor Charles IV by sending him carts filled with hard-boiled eggs.
Every afternoon, painters and hot dog vendors fill up the bridge for the tons of tourists who pass through every day. From the bridge, you can see amazing views of the Vltava River.
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 but collapsed in a flood in 13th century.
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.
On one side of the bridge you can see the Lesser Town Bridge Tower which formed a part of Judith’s Bridge. Its present Renaissance appearance dates back when the tower had to be rebuilt after the fire. In the course of these modifications, the tower was lowered by one storey and was adorned with beautiful Renaissance gables. The higher tower was established on the site of an older tower in the second half of 15th century.
This magnificent Old Town Bridge Gothic Tower was built at the end of 14th century.
为了保护大桥, 在桥的两端都建了 "桥头堡" 桥头塔楼. 塔楼的建筑风格也是哥特式, 很漂亮. 其中尤以东头的塔楼更吸引人. 美观的设计, 精湛的建筑工艺加上楼身的雕塑, 使这座桥头塔楼被认为是世界上最令人惊叹的哥特式民用建筑.
查理大桥只用石块和石板堆砌, 并在两端耸立着一座哥德式尖端的桥头堡, 十分显眼美观又具有艺术的价值美感.
目前捷克政府为了保存查理大桥这座名胜古迹, 已禁止车辆在桥上通行只供行人过往, 由于布拉格的精华观光点集中伏尔他瓦河 Vltava 两岸的旧城区, 因此查理大桥就是串连旧城区 Prague Old Town 到布拉格城堡 Prague Castle 的桥梁.
As you approach Charles Bridge from the Old Town, don't miss the Clementinum. The Clementium, one of the first Jesuit colleges in Bohemia, is the third largest historical complex in Prague. It is situated in the Old Town close to Charles Bridge.
The Clementinum incorporated three churches, the St Saviour’s Church, the main Jesuit church in Bohemia (that’s the church you can see when you come from the Lesser Quarter over Charles Bridge), Church of St Clement and an Italian Chapel.
One of three churches located at the Clementinum is the Early Baroque Church of the Holy Saviour. The front of the church faces Charles Bridge and stands at the site of a former Dominican monastery and St Clement Church.
The statues in the portico are the work of Johann-Georg Bendl: Church Fathers, saints, evangelists, Christ and the Virgin Mary.
查理士桥头的 "查理四世" 雕像. 布拉格在查理四世在位期间成为一个富庶美丽的城市, 在这个时候其领地也迅速的扩张. 但查理四世是透过联姻与购买的方式, 未曾使用过武力, 创办了中欧的第一座大学查理大学. 查理四世雕像的四个女生雕像, 分别就是查理大学创办时最初的四个学院, 医学院, 神学院, 哲学院, 法学院.
神学院, 法学院, 哲学院, 医学院.
St. Salvator Church is a part of the oldest Czech Jesuit College, the Clementinum. The Church was originally built by the Jesuits in the Gothic style, although there were Baroque features added in later years. The Baroque façade has porticos decorated with sculptures of saints and one of the Virgin Mary in a niche.
Before entering Mala Strana side of the bridge, you will encounter these two towers as mentioned earlier. The shorter one was originally part of the 12th century Judith Bridge that preceded the Charles Bridge. The taller one (on the right) is the Mala Strana Bridge Tower was built in imitation of the Old Town Bridge Tower.
这座桥称做是捷克最美丽的一最桥并不为过, 伏尔塔瓦河上共有17座桥, 唯读查理士桥特别受到游客青睐, 最大的特色就是桥的两侧并立了30尊基督教圣者的雕像, 每一尊雕像都极俱特色, 使整座桥充满了古色古香而细致的美感.
虽然我不认识宗教故事里的人物, 也搞不清楚每一个雕像代表的意义, 但是目光仍不免为这些精雕细琢的作品所吸引.
布拉格人非常珍爱查尔斯桥, 说它是 "布拉格最小和最亮的一颗珍珠". 除了桥两端的哥特式门楼以外, 桥的两侧护栏上还矗立着三十座雕像, 每座雕像都有一个传奇故事, 每座雕像都是一件精美的艺术品, 决不因为坐落在护栏上而有一点马虎. 从两行雕像中间走过, 就像走过艺术长廊.
The oldest sculpture was dedicated to St Jan Nepomucky (John of Nepomuk). It represents the work of a well known Baroque sculptor. It is about 2.5 metres high. It was designed after the wooden model which is stored in the church of St John of Nepomuk on the Rock. Touching the statue is supposed to bring good luck and ensure your return to Prague.
30个雕像中有一个特别引人注意, "圣约翰" 两旁的金属雕塑还被摸得发亮! 传说碰触此雕像的人都可以获得庇护保平安而且还能有机会旧地重游喔. 这个大家排队等着碰触的雕像成了最受欢迎的雕像, 往往排在他前面的人龙总是长长的一串, 要拍照都要等好久.
This is the 17th century crucifixion. For 200 years, the wooden crucifix stood alone on the bridge.
The Dominicans (known in a Latin pun as Domini canes, the dogs of God), are shown with the Madonna and their emblem, a dog.
查理士桥另外一宝就是桥上那一摊接着一摊卖着纪念品的小贩, 有街头画家, 卖明信片, 卖钥匙圈的, 因为这些纪念品也充满了艺术和美感. 除了以布拉格为主题的画作和摄影作品, 还有一些贩卖发夹, 头饰等纪念品的摊子, 这些摊贩不知不觉就成为风景的一部份了. 几乎都是卖跟查理士桥有关的写真集与纪念品, 无论何时来访, 白天黑夜, 春夏秋冬, 阴晴风雨, 在此翻阅这座桥的各种面貌这都能给人不同的感觉和心情. 还有很多街头表演的艺人在桥上尽情的表演, 他们的歌声乐声让这座查理士桥更添加了一些浪漫的气氛.
Charles Bridge is on the top of every Prague visitor's must-see list. It is also popular with Czech artists, musicians and souvenir vendors whose stands line both sides of the bridge year-round. A great time of day to come to the bridge is at sunset when one can enjoy a breathtaking view of the fully lit Prague Castle against the evening sky.
The bridge has borne witness to both countless historical events and natural disasters. The span itself is decorated by numerous statues, under whose auspices various tradespeople ply their wares during the day.
走一趟查理大桥浏览布拉格城最古老的传说, 从旧城广场沿着查理街走向查理士桥, 沿途许多文艺复兴和哥德式建筑的房舍目前都改为商店, 这段狭窄蜿蜒的街道却聚集了许多旧城的精华, 也是当时查理国王加冕御道的一部份.
I recommend that you walk to the Old Town and just get lost in the narrow streets between the Charles Bridge and the Old Town Square. Trust me. You may make memories of a lifetime! A trip to Prague would not be complete without crossing the Charles Bridge, at least once.
没有旅人愿意只行经大桥一次, 在布拉格停留的日子, 天天都要到桥上晃晃的念头, 很容易成为一种无法抗拒的惯性, 却在告别城市时才赫然想问, 这可是一座桥? 小桥那不宽的方石路上, 就更是艺术的天堂. 来自四面八方的街头艺人, 画家云集于此和来往如织的游客交错在一起. 其实这样的景象在布拉格却有着一些不同的体会. 想必是因为布拉格的小, 布拉格的精致, 而把这一切也都浓缩在了这座不大的小桥之上, 让你目不暇接. 又或者是因为这古老漂亮的查理士桥, 这沃尔塔瓦河两岸的古典建筑, 还有这桥上云集的艺人, 又把你紧紧的包裹在了这浓浓的艺术氛围之中吧.
Captivating Prague In Czech Republic 捷克布拉格古美浪漫之旅 - To be continued......
A freelance Singapore-based travel photographer / photojournalist. I seek the extraordinary, but finds beauty in the everyday. Life is interesting, capture it.
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