Today it connects the National boulevard with the Lesser Town and it goes over Střelecký Island. Built from the initiative of a businessman Vojtěch Lana between 1999 – 1901 it replaced Chain Bridge of Emperor Francis I. The project was carried out by architect Antonín Balšánek and ingeneer Jiří Soukup. The inauguration ceremony was held on 14th June 1901 and was attended by Emperor Franz, after whom the bridge was originally called. Over the time, the bridge had had various names, during the occupation it was called Smetanův bridge and it was renamed the bridge of 1st May from 1960 till the Velvet Revolution.
The bridge is built in a combination of neo-Baroque and Art Nouveau styles. There are two towers on both sides of the bridge; these were used for the collection of tolls in the past. The bridge is built of granite blocks and measures 343 metres in length and 16 metres in width. From the bridge you can get to Střelecký Island, a frequent place for many cultural events. You can get there by a wide staircase and there is a cinema, restaurant and a cafe with a terrace, from which you can admire an amazing view of the Vltava river and the National Theater, which should not be missed on your travels in Prague.
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