The city of Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, has historically been one of the most important cities in Europe as the capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia. It became the residence of multiple Holy Roman Emperors and didn’t lose its prominence during Habsburg Rule.
Situated on the Vltava River, several important bridges cross the river within the city limits as well. The city is also home to many historic landmarks such as Prague Castle and the buildings facing Old Town Square.
In this article, you’ll discover some of the most famous bridges in Prague, structures that have helped to grow the city into one of the most influential cities in European history.
1. Charles Bridge
Charles Bridge is an iconic medieval bridge located right in the heart of Prague. The construction of this stone arch bridge started way back in 1357 and was named after the Holy Roman Emperor who commissioned it, King Charles IV (1316-1378), in the year 1870.
This wasn’t even the first bridge in this location as it replaced an even older structure that was completed in the 12th century called the “Judith Bridge.” The bridge has been one of the most important structures in Prague for centuries as it was the only way to cross the Vltava River in Prague until the year 1841.
2. Svatopluk Čech Bridge
The Svatopluk Čech Bridge is often referred to as simply the Čech Bridge and is a historic stone and arch bridge crossing the main river in Prague. It was constructed between 1905 and 1908 and connects the central city district Holešovice and the Old Town in the heart of the city.
What’s remarkable about this bridge is that until 1961, the road deck was made of a particular type of wood called “Jarrah” that was imported from Australia. This made the bridge extremely slippery during rainfall. The most notable feature of the bridge is the amazing Art Nouveaux sculptures that decorate the bridge’s pylons.
3. Troja Bridge
The Troja Bridge is one of the most spectacular bridges in the capital of the Czech Republic. It’s relatively new compared to some of the other famous bridges in Prague. It was only completed in 2014 and features a bowstring arch design.
The bridge was designed by the Mott McDonald Group, an architectural firm based in the United Kingdom, in collaboration with Koucky Architects. They integrated an extremely slender design which allowed the arch of the bridge to be much lower than similar bridges. The structure also looks magnificent at night, making it one of the most amazing landmarks in the city.
4. Legion Bridge
The Legion Bridge is located in the center of Prague and connects the National Boulevard with the Lesser City. The bridge was completed between 1899 and 1901 and was named in honor of the Czechoslovak Legion, a group of Czech and Slovak volunteer armed forces who fought in World War I.
The bridge is remarkable because it not only crosses the Vltava River but also runs over one of the river islands called Střelecký Island. The bridge is composed of granite blocks and was designed in a combination of Baroque and Art Nouveau architectural styles. The distinctive towers on each side of the bridge were used as toll booths in the past.
5. Palacký Bridge
The Palacký Bridge is a historic bridge that was completed in 1876 which made it the third bridge in Prague to cross the Vltava River. It’s still the oldest functioning bridge crossing the river in the city after Charles Bridge.
The bridge was once decorated with 4 statues featuring legendary couples in the history of the city named Ctirad and Šárka, Libuše and Přemysl, Lumír and Píseň, and Záboj and Slavoj. These statues were removed to the Vyšehrad, a historic fort located just southeast on the east bank of the Vltava River.
6. Mánes Bridge
Mánes Bridge is the first bridge north of Charles Bridge which means it connects the area around Prague Castle with the historical Old Town of the city. More specifically, it connects the Aleš Embankment and Rudolfinum to the Lesser Quarter of the city.
The bridge carries vehicles, pedestrians, and trams, which makes it one of the busiest bridges in the heart of the city. The bridge was named in honor of Czech painter Josef Mánes (1820-1871) and was completed in the year 1916. It was only named as such in 1920, though, as its original name was the “Archduke Bridge” in honor of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria (1863-1914), the man whose assassination ignited World War I.
7. Libeň Bridge
Libeň Bridge is located in the utmost eastern part of a sharp turn of the Vltava River in the northern part of the city. It connects the district of Holešovice on the west with the Libeň of the city in the east. The current bridge replaced an original wooden structure from the early 20th century in the year 1928.
It’s another bridge that carries a tram in the middle of the road which makes it a pretty busy bridge. Even though the main span of the bridge only has a length of 380 meters (1,246 feet), the total length of 780 meters (2,559 feet) makes it the longest bridge in Prague.
8. Barrandov Bridge
Even though this list of the most famous bridges in Prague already featured some pretty busy bridges, nothing compares to the Barrandov Bridge in terms of traffic. This bridge is an interconnected maze of roads that carries over 130,000 cars across the Vltava River every day.
This incredible number makes it the busiest bridge in the entire Czech Republic. It connects the Braník district on the eastern bank of the city with the Hlubočepy district on the western bank. The bridge was completed in two stages as well with the southern section opening for traffic in 1983 and the northern section in 1988.
9. Nusle Bridge
The Nusle Bridge is remarkable in the sense that it doesn’t cross the Vltava River but another small stream in the Nusle District of the city. This enormous prestressed concrete bridge crosses a valley in this section of the city, making it easy to travel from Prague 2 to Prague 4.
The bridge has a total length of 485 meters (1,591 feet) and its deck reaches a maximum height of 42.5 meters (139 feet) above the valley below. What’s remarkable about the bridge is that it carries vehicles, pedestrians, and two tracks of the Prague subway system as well.
10. Negrelli Viaduct
The Negrelli Viaduct is a railway bridge that runs over the Štvanice island just north of the historical heart of Prague. It’s part of a line that connects the Masaryk Railway Station in the New Ton area of the city with Bubny.
The bridge has a length of 1,100 meters (3,600 feet) which makes it the longest railway bridge in the city and the third-longest in the Czech Republic. This historic viaduct was built between 1846 and 1849. It originally had 87 pylons and opened up for traffic in June 1850.
11. Braník Bridge
Braník Bridge is another railway bridge that also features a pedestrian path in the utmost southern part of the city. This reinforced concrete bridge is also sometimes referred to as the “Bridge of the Intelligentsia” and has a total length of 950 meters (3,116 feet).
The structure was completed between 1949 and 1955 and was part of a much larger railway expansion project in the Prague area. Its unofficial name is a reference to the fact that many educated Czecholslvak individuals such as doctors and lawyers worked on it following the communist coup d’état of 1948.
12. Railway Bridge
Vyšehrad railway bridge is often simply referred to as the “Railway Bridge” and was originally completed in the year 1872. The current structure, however, replaced the original bridge and was completed in the year 1901.
It’s located just south of the historical center of the city and connects the Nusle Valley with the Smíchov district of Prague. It’s another one of those picturesque bridges and looks pretty amazing with Prague Castle in the background.
13. Štefanik Bridge
Štefanik Bridge is the replacement of the demolished Franz Joseph Bridge, a structure that was completed in 1868 and one of the first bridges to cross the Vltava River in Prague. The original cable-stayed bridge was eventually demolished in the year 1941.
The old bridge was replaced by a reinforced concrete bridge and was named after Milan Rastislav Štefánik (1880-1919), a famous Slovak politician, diplomat, aviator, and astronomer who died in a suspicious plane crash.
14. Trojská lávka
One of the newest of the most famous bridges in Prague is a pedestrian bridge named Trojská lávka. It’s located in the relatively green and enjoyable suburb of Troja in the northern part of the city and was only completed in the year 2020.
This fascinating structure that crosses the Vltava RIver has a total length of 256 meters (839 feet) and a width of just 4 meters (13 feet). The absence of traffic makes it one of the most enjoyable ways to cross the river in this part of the city.
15. Radotín Bridge
Even though the Radotín Bridge isn’t located within the center of the city, it’s still located within the metropolitan area of Prague. It’s situated in the utmost southern part of the city and carries Highway R1 across a valley.
The immense structure was completed between 2006 and 2010 and has a maximum height of 40 meters (131 feet) above the valley floor below. This colossal structure emphasizes the growth of Prague over the centuries, something that started with the construction of Charles Bridge during the Middle Ages.