The Charles Bridge is one of Prague’s most recognisable historic landmarks. The Good Soldier Švejk and Jára Cimrman have strutted across it. But some foreign filmmakers see things differently, using the bridge to adorn Lublin or Budapest.
Having mentioned the most famous Czech inventor, we must not overlook the most famous Czech soldier. The good soldier Švejk is escorted to field chaplain Katz across the bridge. Today it is pedestrian only but in the last century it could be traversed by car, and even trams ran across it.
The bridge, supplemented by towers at both ends (one on the Old Town side, a small and large pair on the Lesser Town side), has also appeared in foreign productions. In the Barbra Streisand film Yentl, made the year before Forman’s Amadeus, it helps evoke the panorama of Lublin, where the protagonist lives. Oddly, the Polish city boasts such a bridge in the film alone. For the vampire hunter Van Helsing it is the venue for negotiations with one of Dracula’s brides in what is meant to be Budapest.