Charles Bridge was founded by the king of Bohemia and Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire Charles IV. He built the bridge on the site of the former Romanesque Judith's bridge, which was washed away by the overflowing Vltava River in 1342. The new bridge was originally called 'stone' or 'Prague' bridge, until in 1870 it was finally named after its founder.
The bridge structure is gothic, but it bears an array of Baroque sculptures, which form a unique open-air gallery. This is one of the reasons it was proclaimed a Monument of National Heritage in 1962.