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I love the architecture of ancient churches and bridges. But I know nothing about how they were made.

That’s why a gorgeous 3D animation created by Tomáš Musílek is so intriguing. It elegantly depicts the construction of Prague’s most famous bridge, the Charles Bridge, also known as Karlův Most in the Czech Republic.

Image Credit: YouTube

But first, the facts!

Set in a popular, picturesque tourist spot, the Charles Bridge is made and stone and spans the Vitava river in Prague.

Image credit: Pixaby via Pexels

According to Neringa Utaraitė on Bored Panda:

The construction started in 1357 and the bridge was finished in 1402, taking 45 years to make it.

The bridge, which originally was called Stone Bridge and only got named after the king in 1870, is 1,693 ft (616 m) long and almost 33 ft (10 m) wide. It has three bridge towers—two on the Lesser Quarter side and one on the Old Town side. In addition to this, it’s decorated with 30 statues, mostly baroque-style, that were originally built around 1700, but now have been replaced by replicas.

The bridge is a marvel of 14th century technology, and Musílek’s animation is a marvel of modern tech.

First, as the video demonstrates, the builders drove pillars into the riverbed. They formed a coffer-dam in the shape of two hexagonal rings.

Image credit: Tomáš Musílek via YouTube

Then the builders installed a series of pulleys. The pulleys helped to fill the area between the walls with what appears to be gravel or sand.

Image credit: Tomáš Musílek via YouTube

Next they added a large wheel. It had buckets attached to more pulleys.

As the wheel turned, it pumped out all the water. Then they could construct the stone pylon on the dry riverbed.

Image credit: Tomáš Musílek via YouTube

They built wooden arches between the pylons, and then covered the wood in layers of gravel and stone.

Image credit: Tomáš Musílek via YouTube

Take a look at the entire video to see how it all comes together.

Whatever you think about historic versus modern techniques, I think we can all agree that medieval architecture was truly incredible, especially when you consider that we still use the same techniques today, just with different tools and labor.

And bridge construction aside, the animation explaining it is really something!

Whose side are you on? Let us know in the comments.


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