The Judith Bridge, a predecessor to Prague’s famous Charles Bridge, was built in the year 1158 and partially destroyed by flooding in 1342. Built by King Vladislav II and named for his wife, historians and archeologists have searched for its foundations for years with no success—until now.
A team of divers organized by the Prague City Museum swept the bottom of the river through the weekend where they recovered what is believed to be the basis of the second pillar of the Judith Bridge, Novinky is reporting.
The recovery of the dark sandstone pieces is an important step in a larger, more complex examination of the bridge, say experts who could previously only guess about the Judith and its construction. (Fun fact: a mysterious sculpture of a bearded man in the wall of the Charles Bridge is said to be a likeness of its builder).
Also dredged up in the dive were a collection of artifacts that will complement findings from 2014, including items related to medieval life near the bridge, and more contemporary pieces like 19th-century pipes.
The findings will be displayed in a special exhibit at the Old Town Bridge tower from April 1; the search still continues for the remains of an early medieval wooden footbridge that offered a road across the Vltava prior to the Judith.
Those with an interest in the history of the Judith Bridge should visit the Charles Bridge Museum.
Located in a former monastery that was once a tower of the Judith Bridge, it boasts a replica of the two bridges, which co-existed from 1357-1406. You can also see remnants of the original Judith Bridge and one of its preserved arches.