Was the Charles Bridge mortar watered with wine and milk?
Charles Bridge. One of the symbols of Prague. The oldest standing bridge over the Vltava river in Prague and the second oldest preserved bridge in the Czech Republic. Thousands of Praguers and tourists walk through it every day. It connects the Old Town with Malá strana (part of Prague). It is 515.76 m long and 9.40 to 9.50 m wide. It was built in 45 years. But there are many more interesting facts about Charles Bridge that are less well known. And today’s article is about these facts. So keep reading!
- Originally the bridge did not have a name and was simply called a “stone” or “Prague” bridge. The name “Charles Bridge” was not used until around 1870; the first to use this designation was Prague publisher, writer and copper-engraver Joseph Rudl in a monograph entitled Die Berühmte Karls-Brücke and the Statuen, with an anhange: Die Franzens-Ketten-Brücke.
- At the beginning of Charles Bridge, tolls were initially paid. The amount was different from whether you were walking on your own, on a horse or with a carriage. It was even possible to get a subscription, when a man for ten dimes received 11 metal stamps designed to pay tolls. But not everyone was paying – soldiers and policemen in uniform could go for free. From the end of 1815 it was possible to walk on the bridge without paying. Which was not true for other bridges in the metropolis for many years. The total abolition of fees on the remaining Prague bridges occurred only in 1925.
- The foundation stone was laid in 1357, on 9 July at 5:31 by Emperor Charles IV. The date and time were chosen deliberately, a sequence of odd numbers that was supposed to be happy according to numerology. In addition to the sequence of numbers, the date was also selected with respect to the position of the planets. All the planets then known were above the horizon, and the Sun, Mercury and Saturn were in conjunction. The sun was in the ascendant of the sign of Leo, the heraldic symbol of the Kingdom of Bohemia.
- It stands on the site where originally stood Judita Bridge, which was destroyed by the flood in 1342.
- In 1393 St. John of Nepomuk was martyred here in the Vltava by drowning
- One of the greatest myths of Charles Bridge is that the medieval builders added eggs to the mortar. But this was refuted by scientists from the Institute of Chemical Technology in Prague eight years ago. However, there were traces of wine and milk.
Have you ever visited Charles Bridge? How did you like it there? Write in the comments!