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Traveling with Art: Prague Castle and Charles Bridge

Prague Castle at night.

The Charles Bridge and Prague Castle are prime examples of Prague architecture and contain rich histories within their walls.

Let’s start with Charles Bridge: The bridge crosses the Vltava River and has two bridge towers, one of which is the Old Town bridge tower famous for its Gothic style and the thirty baroque statues lining the balustrade, creating a stunning effect.

Construction on this beauty started all the way back in 1357. A rumor surrounding its construction says that the Emperor Charles IV ordered the bridge builders to mix egg yolks into the mortar to make it stronger. Allegedly one village decided to go all out in impressing the emperor and sent carts full of hard-boiled eggs to the construction site. Who wants to bet that more than a few bridge builders snuck some extra protein into their lunches that day?

The artist Mekhti Mezentsev painted this beautiful watercolor piece showing the  of the bridge. Mezentsev lives and teaches watercolor classes in Prague.

The artist Mekhti Mezentsev painted this beautiful watercolor piece of the bridge tower. Mezentsev lives and teaches watercolor classes in Prague.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world at about 570 meters in length and 130 meters wide.

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A shot of Charles Bridge.

The first of Prague castle was built around the 9th century, where the first walled building was the Church of the Virgin Mary, and throughout the decades the castle was worked on. The last major rebuild was in the 18th century by the hand of Empress Maria Theresa, and in 1848 the former emperor made Prague Castle his home. Royalty and presidents have kept their offices in Prague Castle, and the Bohemian Crown Jewels are kept in a hidden room inside.

In 1995, the Rolling Stones played a concert to over 100,000 audience members in Prague. They then gave the ultimate gift to the Czech Republic president (also a big Rolling Stones fan) Vaclav Havel: $32,000 toward the revamp of lighting in four of the castle’s grand halls. The band members presented Havel with a remote control for operating the chandeliers and spotlights. If you see the lights flickering in the halls, someone’s having a little too much fun.

This etching takes you right to the scene on a calm, peaceful day, using neutral colors with accents of yellow and green in the scenery to show the bridge in the foreground and the castle in the background.

This etching takes you right to the scene on a calm, peaceful day, using neutral colors with accents of yellow and green in the scenery to show the bridge in the foreground and the castle in the background.

That’s just a taste of the history behind these stunning Prague buildings.

What more would you like to know about these historical sites?

Have you been to Prague? Share your stories in the comments!

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