Chain gangway. From Klárov to the Old Town and back again

Today, you can get to Rudolfinum from the Lesser Town via the Mánes Bridge. Before 1914, however, you would have crossed the river on a chain footbridge. It was built as the third suspension bridge over Vltava which really suited Prague, as you can see for yourself in the photo gallery.

04.11.2022 | Author: Jakub Raš

Chain gangway. From Klárov to the Old Town and back again

The idea to build a footbridge from the Old Town to Klárov was conceived in 1866 in relation to the construction of the Franz Josef Bridge. Although bridging the Vltava river at the site of today's Jan Palach Square had already been considered in the late 1830s, in the end, the inhabitants of Prague had to make do with a ferry for nearly three decades.

Before the construction of the footbridge, the place on the Old Town bank known as Rejdiště was an inner periphery of the city used for economic purposes. Alongside the houses, there were various fences for storing wood and other materials, the sawmill of the knight Lanna stood nearby, and the municipal knacker also had their mansion and hutches here. The new bridge project thus essentially represented the first stage of the transformation of the whole area, which was followed a few years later by the construction of Rudolfinum (from June 1876), the School of Arts (1882), the Museum of Decorative Arts (1897), and also the improvement of the embankment (1878).


Footbridge in Numbers

Names: chain, iron, Rudolf, Crown Prince Rudolf Footbridge
Construction: 1868–1869
Length: 192.02 m
Width: 3.35 m
Cost: 294,000 guldens
In use: 1869–1914



Sources and Literature
  1. Rubrika Zprávy domácí a z venkova. Tábor 1869, č. 48, s. 205
  2. Zákony, nařízení a jiné místní předpisy mimo rád stavební platné pro král. hlav. město Prahu, jakož i některé předpisy týkající se obcí okolních a různých ústavů pražských. Díl I. Praha: Důchody obce král. hlav. města Prahy 1911, s. 440
  3. Rubrika Pražské klábosení. Večer – lidový deník 1914, č. 38, s. 4