Monday, September 29, 2008

Prague. The Vltava River Runs Through It


Charles Bridge, over the Vltava River, Prague, Czech Republic

The Vltava River divides Prague's Old Town and Jewish Quarter, from the Little Quarter, and the Prague Castle-St.Vitus Cathedral sections. The Charles Bridge, with its saints on both sides, connects them again.

Petr describes the "pleasant murmur of the weir," weir being an area of an overflow spillway, to raise or lower water levels and make a river navigable, or suitable for millraces. See Here is Prague's old mill race area.

Prague, Vltava River, Old Mill Race area

Page 57: Petr says the Vltava is partly frozen. Here are the big ice breakers that protect the bulwarks of the Charles Bridge.

Vltava River, Prague, icebreakers at bulwarks, CZ

The Vltava floods often, and markers show the high water marks through the years.

Vltava River, Prague, flood high-water markers

When the levels are low enough, you can see them.

Petr writes: "*** The water in the river is far below the normal level, so from the embankment you can see the stairs to the lower river bank, from the lower bank to the edge of the bulwardm and five steps of the ladder below." Page 88. There is the flood marker now. In 2002, the floods were over the top.

Petr Ginz hears that loose ice is floating on the river. Page 92.

Ice breakers at bulwarks, Vltava River Charles Bridge, Prague

We used this photo before to show the saints.  Look this time at the ice breakers.

And, finally at one point the river is overflowing, but Petr sees a ferry crossing with 30 people on board. Page 95.

We enjoyed a short river cruise on a little roofed boat instead.  Did we mention that they gave a big cup of beer and a snack to all on board who wanted to celebrate the river?

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