This is a lovely animation of how the 14th century Charles Bridge in Prague was built. It’s amazing that they were able to do this back then.The unique animation details the construction of the pillar and the vaulting field of one of our most remarkable monuments.
image credit: praha-archeologicka.cz
You can see how exactly the builders in the 14th century proceeded to build a bridge connecting the right and left banks of the Vltava River. The video was created within the framework of the Prague-Archaeological Project and was attended by Tomáš Musílek, Zdeněk Mazač or Ing. arch. Ondřej Šefců.
The basic principle of arch bridge is its curved design, which does not push load forces straight down, but instead they are conveyed along the curve of the arch to the supports on each end. These supports (called abutments) carry the load of entire bridge and are responsible for holding the arch in the precise position unmoving position.
Conveying of forces across the arch is done via central keystone on the top of the arch. Its weight pushes the surrounding rocks down and outward, making entire structure very rigid and strong. Many of those bridges remain standing even today, giving us the chance to personally see the wonders of the ancient architecture.