Lecture: 'Reuniting Fourteenth-century Prague: Charles IV and his Gothic Bridge'
March 2016 - Lecture: 'Reuniting Fourteenth-century Prague: Charles IV and his Gothic Bridge'
Dr. Jana Gajdošová of the History of Art Department at the University of Cambridge gave a comprehensive lecture, copiously illustrated by photographs and plans, on the building of what is now called the Charles Bridge after the King of Bohemia (and Holy Roman Emperor) Charles IV, who commissioned the building of the bridge in 1357 to replace the earlier Judith Bridge, which had collapsed in 1342 as a result of exceptionally severe flooding of the River Vltava.
Dr. Gajdošová particularly emphasised that Charles IV was concerned not only to restore communication across the Vltava but also to reunite both physically and symbolically the long-established Old Town and the New Town; he founded the latter in 1348 – the same year as he founded Charles University. The New Town and Charles Univesity are both situated on the right bank of the river, while the Lesser Quarter (Malá Strana) and the Castle district (Hradčany) are on the left bank. Charles IV had himself initiated the construction in Hradčany of both a royal palace and the St Vitus Cathedral in the Gothic style that he had come to admire so much during his upbringing in Paris. His overall aim was to make Prague into a capital city worthy to stand alongside the other great European capitals.
Wine for this event was sponsored by Ace Cultural Tours - www.aceculturaltours.co.uk
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