Engineering and Architecture takes a deep look into how with an amazing animation that shows the construction of the Charles Bridge in Prague from 1357-1402. The bridge is part of an iconic work across the Vltava (Moldau) river in the famous Czech Republic city. Spanning nearly 1,700 feet and over 33 feet wide, it is a famous tourist destination and continues high historical significance for the city.
The video itself cleverly breaks down the nearly 50-year-long construction process of the Charles Bridge. First, we see the execution of individual footings in the water, from preliminary structural elements to the draining of water from the interior of the footing. It later zooms out from the individual footings and explains the bridging across each element.
These arches are held by temporary wooden frameworks used for the production of perfect brick arches. A pulley system is used to lift supplies from ships waiting beneath the construction. Extraordinary piles of stone and other materials create the infill for all elements. Once the footings and arches are created, the animation shows the infill and pavement used for the top walking cover of the bridge. Finally, the animation takes out to the completed box bridge—an extraordinary structure of 16 arches.
The Charles Bridge was not a new project, it was commissioned to replace the old Judith bridge that was flooded and seriously damaged in 1342. The current bridge was completed under the name Stone Bridge or Prague Bridge but was later named Charles Bridge after King Charles IV who commissioned it.