1890 flood destroyed three arches of Prague's famous Charles Bridge
On Wednesday afternoon, the rising floodwaters of the river Vltava were just a couple of metres below Prague's famous medieval Charles Bridge, which has been closed to the public since Tuesday morning. Preservationists, Prague citizens and tourists have been keeping their fingers crossed that no harm befalls the historic bridge. What you may not know is that - over 100 years ago - several parts of Charles Bridge were actually washed away in tumultuous floods. Ian Willoughby has the story.
In the end three arches of Charles Bridge were swept away - the greatest damage being done by logs and loose rafts and wooden swimming piers. Along with the fifth pillar on the Old town Side of the bridge, valuable statues of St Ignatius Loyola and St Francis Xavier also disappeared into the Vltava.
Almost three weeks later, when the water had subsided, it was possible to examine the bridge. Rebuilding work was extremely difficult. The damaged pillars had to be completely rebuilt; the ruins were so solid that they could only be shifted by dynamite and removed from the water using steam powered machinery. It was another fourteen years before repair work on Charles Bridge was finished completely.