CZ: Prague's Bridges VI. - Hlávka's Bridge
Hlávka´s bridge is twelfth of bridges over the Vltava river in the capital city of Prague, currently is a part of the north-south highway and connects Florenc and Holešovice across the Štvanice island. The bridge was named after the Czech architect and patron Josef Hlávka (1831 - 1908).
The reason for its construction was the new project of central slaughterhouse in Holešovice, regulation of the river Vltava and the decision to build a power plant on the island Štvanice. Due to the difficult preparations and negotiation of proposals was built makeshift wooden bridge in 1900. City of Prague had to buy from private owners the Štvanice Island (formerly called the Great Venice).
Because among the builders there were different opinions on it, from what material should be built a future bridge, the result was a compromise between supporters of the iron and reinforced concrete structures. The project of the iron part of bridge was designed by Mečislav Petrů and reinforced parts designed by Pavel Janák and František Mencl.
Building of the bridge took place in two phases: between 1908 - 1910 was built south part of the bridge with steel frame, which should connects Těšnov and Štvanice in the years 1910 - 1911 was built the northern part of bridge connecting Holešovice and Štvanice.
South part of bridge is made by steel structure consists of steel converter Thomas, who has two truss segment and field that has been made Bridgeworks Prášil brothers. The length of the bridge was 96 meters, width - 16 meters on the sides of the three-meter sidewalks. In the middle of the bridge was paved roadway 10 meters wide.
Northern concrete part of the Hlávka bridge was built by Karel Herzán company, had three large arches over the river and four smaller arches over the island Štvanice. All parts of the bridge, including decorations are made of concrete or artificial stone, except the lower parts of the pillars, lined with stone tiles.
The total width of the bridge with sidewalks was 16,8 meters, the length of 297,4 meters. The bridge Vltava bridged two arms and the island Štvanice with seven arches (above Vltava three, over Štvanice four).
The decoration is the work of Myslbek students - Bohumil Kafka and Ladislav Kofránek who created the reliefs of male torsos 2,5 meters high. During the reconstruction of the bridge during its phase of expansion relief disappeared, but later, in the 80 years, were drawn up their copies and then installed over Štvanice. On the sides, above the bridge pillars are placed medallions - the portraits of 12 councilors - from sculptors Josef Mařatka and Otto Guttfreund. At the Holešovice end of the bridge are the most famous sculptures called “ Práce” (work) and Humanity by Jan Štursa, which in the figure of a man with a hammer on the sculpture portrays himself as a mason.
In the years 1958 - 1962 the bridge was reconstructed. The metal part was removed and replaced with reinforced concrete structures, while the bridge roadway was extended to 28 meters. In this time was destroyed part of bridge decoration.
A special of Hlávka´s Bridge is the fact that his name wasn’t ever changed.
Text and photo: Maxim Kucer, Aktron / Wikimedia Commons
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