Lesser Town Bridge Tower

Lesser Town Bridge Tower The Lesser Town Bridge Tower (Malostranská mostecká věž in Czech) is situated at the western end of the Charles Bridge; it forms the ancient gate to the Lesser Town (Malá Strana). It is the youngest of all three Prague bridge towers.

Unlike in the Old Town on the other bank of Vltava river, where there is a passage to the Chares Bridge through a single tower, here in the Lesser Town there are in fact two towers with a gate between them. For tourists arriving from the Old Town, this is the main pedestrian entrance to the Lesser Town, a lovely quarter of Prague with restaurants, bars and boutique shops. The street connecting there to the Charles Bridge is called Mostecká (Bridge Street).

The higher Gothic Bridge Tower stands on the northern side of the passage and the older and smaller Judith Tower is connected to it by a walkway above the gate. The gate is decorated with symbols of countries under the reign of Wenceslas IV. It was built after 1411 in place of the previous Romanesque one.

The Lesser Town Bridge Tower was built around 1464 on the expense of King George of Poděbrady. It replaced the original Romanesque tower, that used to stand there. In its appearance the tower suppose to imitate the Old Town Bridge Tower, constructed earlier at the opposite end of Charles Bridge.

The tower is a monument of Prague Gothic of the era after Hussites. Its wall niches were most probably made for statues of kings Charles IV, Wenceslas IV and George of Poděbrady, who was the founder of this tower.

It was used as a warning tower and a storage. The tower is 45 metres high and its gallery is situated 26 metres above the ground. There are stairs to the top, which you can climb for a fine view over the Lesser Town, Charles Bridge, the Vltava River and across into Prague’s Old Town.

Inside the Lesser Town Bridge Tower there is an exhibition dedicated to the eventful history of Charles Bridge, with graphic descriptions of the invading armies that have crossed it. There are stairs to the top, which you can climb for a fine view over the Lesser Town, Charles Bridge, the Vltava river and across into Prague’s Old Town. A small Tourist Information Office is also situated there with various kinds of publications, city maps and souvenirs available.

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