Archaeologists reveal existence of hidden chambers in Charles Bridge
Anyone who has ever visited the Czech capital will have visited the 14th century Charles Bridge; but if you think you know the city’s most famous landmark, think again. You may be surprised to learn that part of the structure houses two hidden chambers - large enough for dozens of visitors. The areas, not surprisingly, remain off-limits and even their very existence until now was known only by a very few.
“The chambers are related to the flood of 1890. Charles Bridge is solid and was superbly built under Jan Ottl and Petr Parler, but wood transported on the river much later - in 1890 - destroyed three of the bridge’s arches (numbers 5, 6, & 7) and two original pillars. The bridge was later fully restored, but technological advances meant that the areas within the tops of the two pillars could be left hollow. It was no longer necessary for them to be completely filled-in.”
Until now, Mr Bergman says, few outsiders were aware of the chambers’ existence, though there have been exceptions: a number of people, mostly squatters he said, found their way in in the 1990s, holding, one source reported, “underground concerts”. Since then the entrance above the rooms has been closed.
Despite obvious difficulties in allowing viewers, city officials would at some point like to open the rooms to the public, if only for a limited time. Before they can do that, though, safe access will have to be guaranteed.