The incredible Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge at night This famous bridge has just celebrated 650th birthday!! How cool is that! That is hell of a lot years, don’t you think? Just think about it: in 1357, English poet Geoffrey Chaucer was only 14 years old; the Hundred Years War between France and England was about to end in next 96 years; Columbus was about to discover America not sooner than 135 years later; Pilgrims celebrated their first Thanksgiving after long 264 years… Jeez, do you know any older bridge that serves thousands of pedestrians every day?

It is truly amazing that the Charles Bridge has survived all those floods and wars it had to undergo over the time. Many legends about its incredibly good condition surrender the bridge from the very beginning – the date and time for the launch of the construction was chosen very carefully.

The first stone was laid in the year 1357 on the 9th of July at 5:31 in the morning. This exact timing forms the sequence of ascending and descending odd digits: 135797531. I was speechless when I found out. The Emperor, Charles IV, believed that this magical combination of numbers would protect the bridge. And maybe it did in deed.

Another legend says that during construction, real eggs were added to mortar to strengthen the bridge. It is to say that eggs are not really typical addition. The eggs were collected from villages from the whole kingdom. People in one village, however, were afraid that the eggs would break on the way and so they sent boiled ones. Everyone in Prague laughed at them but in the end those eggs served as a good snack for the workers.

So what made the difference? The eggs or the timing? Who knows! But what I know is that the “birthday party” for the Charles Bridge was huge!! However, in order to celebrate more of its anniversaries in the future, complete renovation of the Charles Bridge is in progress. This renovation will take many years, but don’t worry, the passing will be permitted.

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