Pragueʼs pride and joy, the Karluv most (Charles Bridge) was built between 1357 and 1402 on the orders of King Charles IV.
It replaced an earlier bridge, the Judith Bridge, ordered by King Wenceslas I in 1172 and named after his wife.
This collapsed in a flood in 1342, and may well have been a replacment an earlier wooden bridge.
As the only crossing point of the Vtlava (Moldau) River hereabouts until 1841, the bridge made Prague an important trade route between East and West Europe.
Like all bridges, the Karluv most has suffered much damage and repairs over the centuries, and at the time of my visit (2009) was undergoing yet another round of reconstruction. The alley of 30 baroque statues, installed on the pillars on either side of the bridge, was started in 1683. Most of them were in place by 1714. From 1965, all of the statues have been replaced by replicas. The originals are exhibited in the Lapidarium.
The bridge is lined with stalls selling mainly art, photography and craft items, for the most part aimed at the tourists. There are also buskers and other street performers. A jolly atmosphere, but it can get a bit crowded.