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CZ: Prague Bridges V. - Legion Bridge

Published: 10.2.2012
Bridge that remembers the visit of Emperor Franz Joseph I, after which he's got a memorable nickname Old Procházka (Walk). What is the history of this Prague's buildings?

Today's Most Legion stands on the site of an iron chain bridge of Francis I., which was built during the years 1839 - 1841 and served until the end of the 19th century. In the years 1898 - 1901 conducted by the architect Antonín Balšánek, who collaborated with Joseph Johns and George Soukup, new construction, this time the stone bridge, which consists of nine arches. The authors are allegedly inspired by Paris' Pont d'Alma bridge, which was built between 1854 and 1856, when it was inaugurated by Napoleon III. Pont d'Alma was to serve as a celebration of the Battle of Alma in 1854, which took place in the Crimean War and in which the Franco-British troops defeated the Imperial army. Prague Legion Bridge is connected with the Národní Třída (National street), which over the Střelecký ostrov (shooting Island) joined with Vítězná třída (winning street) that ends by Petřín. A single span bridge arches, which consist of granite blocks, are patchy - rising from 26 to 34, 38 and 42 yards and then fall to 32, 28 and 25 meters. The actual bridge has a width of 16.4 meters (to the idea of Paris is a long pattern of 153 and 42 meters wide) and is supplemented by a balustrade railing with a conical, in which both ends are seeing the booth, which originally served for collection of the fee for entry to the bridge . Both have baroque dome, are decorated with signs and town on her door one can see an allegory of the reliefs representing various trades. Bridge got the red-blue-white colour, similar to the nearby bridge Palacký. After the First World War, the bridge got its current name, which was, however, during the German occupation renamed the Smetana bridge. After the war returned to the previous title, and in 1960 he switched to a new name - the bridge of May Day. After the fall of the totalitarian regime in 1989 the building called Legion Bridge again.

From the bridge you can go  to Střelecký ostrov, which was originally covered by trees. In 1812 there was a wood fire, shooting a new building built in Empire style, designed by architect J. K. Zobel, which was present in the inn. Architect Jan Zázvorka just before the Second World War the building was extended by a terrace, café and balcony and the floor was built cinema. The building is now entered in the register of cultural monuments UNESCO.


Text and photo: Maxim Kucer


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