Ever wondered how bridges were built centuries ago? An eye-opening animation shows Prague’s Charles Bridge being constructed and the techniques used are definitely amazing.
The video by Engineering and Architecture is a great visual explanation of how such an ambitious architectural enterprise could be achieved using medieval construction tools. The Charles Bridge (Karlův most) in Prague was built between took place from 1357-1402 as part of an iconic composition across the Vltava (Moldau) river in the beuatiful capital of the Czech Republic. Spanning nearly 1,700 feet and over 33 feet wide, it’s a popular tourist destination and holds high historical significance for the city.
The video cleverly breaks down the nearly half-century long construction process. First, the individual footings are installed in the water, from preliminary structural elements to the draining of water from the interior of the footing. Then, the bridging across each element is explained.
The creation of perfect brick arches is supported by temporary wooden frameworks, with a pulley system used to lift supplies from boats waiting beneath the structure. Once the footings and arches are completed, the animation demonstrates the infill and pavement used for the top surface of the bridge. Finally, the animation shows the completed bridge – an impressive structure of 16 arches.
The Charles Bridge was commissioned to replace the old Judith bridge that was flooded and seriously damaged in 1342. The current bridge was completed under the name Stone Bridge or Prague Bridge, and was later named Charles Bridge after King Charles IV who commissioned it.