Celebration of 650th Anniversary of Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge with the Old Town Bridge Tower It was July 9, 1357 when Emperor Charles IV. laid the first and foundation stone of the new bridge in Prague, which later became known as Charles bridge, a part of the Prague Castle panorama and the icon of the town, and while July 9 is getting closer, Prague is preparing to celebrate its 650th anniversary. What we can expect to see are street theatre performances, battles in period costumes, medieval markets, or concerts. All these historical events are supposed to go chronologically from the medieval times to present. The program will take place not only on Charles Bridge but also at Kampa, pontoons under the bridge, nearby neighbourhood, and also on Vltava river.

However, July 9 is Monday, therefore, the main celebration will happen on Sunday, July 8, starting at 14.00 at the Old Town Square where a hundred fully armoured knights will show a skirmish. This is the first tournament of knights, and is meant to honour the bridge. Few hours later, there will be second tournament to win the women hearts and gain honour. This will turn the square into the jousting arena. The final battle will start at 18, when two armies full of hoplites and other swordsmen fight until we have the winner. Every tournament starts with the bell of the astronomical clock. Accompanying events include craft rooms such as blacksmith, pottery, heraldry, coining, or basketry. All these supported with medieval music, and dances.

The final part of the celebration starts at midnight with the ghost hour (we will see a headless Templar riding the streets, a magician, etc.) when Prague legends resurrect. It will continue with swordplay, dancing, or fire juggling, all until 5:31 when the original cornerstone was laid, and it will be blessed. The program ends at six in the morning with the early church service on behalf of Charles Bridge in the church of St. Francis of Assisi.

Celebration of the 650th anniversary of Charles Bridge on July 8 is supposed to become one of the main tourist attractions this season in Prague. And His Majesty king Charles IV is also supposed to come!

Jun 25, 14:42 (Filed under: Prague events )

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