Let's travel together #277 - Nuselský Most (The 'Suicide Bridge' from Prague, Czech Republic)

in Pinmapple3 months ago

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Along with the places I usually see that bring a lot of emotions and memorable feelings and save a special spot in my heart, from time to time I also run into these kinds of spots that are at the opposite pole, still saving a spot in my heart but weighing a lot heavier than the rest.

Nuselský Most, shortly known as Nustle Bridge or under a more unofficial name, The Suicide Bridge, is part of the second category mentioned above, which I'm not sure how famous it is in Europe in general because this one became more popular in the last few years. However, while I and my sister were interested in visiting it, we gave up on this thought initially after the rest of the girls we were traveling with felt rather scared to see a place that marked the ending for hundreds of lives.

But being in a brand new country, and city, even if we were making our way to the next destination we still ended up walking under the bridge which honestly I think would be impossible to avoid because of its size that is half of a kilometer and makes the connection between Prague 2 and Prague 4 which was part of our route back in that day.
Nevertheless, the bridge is quite high too, measuring around 43 meters which is the equivalent to a building of around 15 floors, so it would be hard not to observe it even from the distance.
This was yet another reason for getting impressed since I've never seen a bridge so tall so far, other than these that represent dams and it's hard to realize their height since they are filled with water.
But talking about the sizes of Nuselský Most, I think it's important to mention its first origins that started in 1967 when the construction was finished and became a well-needed route to make the connection between two important sides of Prague linking the center of the city to its south-eastern districts.

We've spent 6 days in Prague and we did see how important the traffic is in the city but also how nicely it's taken care of, arranging public transportation networks all around the city but making some of the areas almost exclusively dedicated to these and rarely seeing a car crossing by, for the sake of having smooth traffic.

For quite a similar reason was also raised the Nustle Bridge which has over 160,000 cars crossing it daily, along with hundreds of subways and other kind of vehicles, but as things rarely remain limited to their single and unique purpose, so it happened with this place that have earned quickly the unofficial name of The Suicide Bridge.

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The original name of the bridge was Klement Gottwald Bridge which represented the name of Czechoslovakia’s first communist president, but while the name doesn't always play a very important role, the biggest surprise came when no less than 66 Russian-built tanks were driven up and down the highway 600 times to test its resistance.

The bridge proved its capability to support a lot more weight than those thought about, also coming with sacrifices when being raised that made seventeen apartment blocks to be cleared out the way during the mission of finding the best route to support smoother traffic starting with the 20th century.

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The imposing sizes of the bridge are not the single creation that saved a lot of people from critical traffic conditions, but also over 750 metro trains that pass daily through the tunnel placed inside the bridge.

For me, this information was rather exciting than interesting since in Romania the metro stations pass mostly underground, so while creating such a project under the ground where you have more resources and stability, the one who projected these at such an altitude and under a wide bridge with already thousands of cars crossing it at the same time the metro follows its route, is simply a genius.

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But even a well-developed infrastructure that saved a lot of hours spent in traffic and which was thought out in the smallest detail making sure that the pedestrians crossing the bridge won't risk anything, we can't say the same when even from the early days people started commiting suicides.

I'm not sure when the first case of suicide came out, but what it's for sure is that the place turned out as a magnet for those who were suffering from all kinds of dark emotions and thought suicide might solve everything and started jumping off the bridge.

Even from the beginning, there was some sort of safety net to make sure that people were safe during their walk, but measuring just one meter in height this was easily overcome by the ones that couldn't find a purpose in their lives anymore.

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The same safety nest was upgraded more times in the 50 years since this place was built trying to stop the murderers, but only within the first 30 years there were registered 273 deaths which is around 3 suicides every two months... and that is a lot!

There is even a legend mentioning a mysterious gang who was said to throw lone passers-by into the valley below especially since it was well known the government did not intervene for a long while trying to put an end to these tragic endings. The single explanation that was soon found showed that police tolerated the whole massacre because they were committed by the sons of prominent Communist Party members.

After the fall of communism, the legend was demoted and the truth was as simple as possible, namely that no one was prepared for this enormous number of suicides and it took time to find the right solution to stop everything, as well as avoid reporting everything because the reputation of the communist regime would be hardly impacted.

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The last update to the bridge happened in 2011 when the installation of an overarching metal strip was mounted after the wall was already three meters high, which finally prevented further suicides.

Still in the same year, there was installed a commemorative plate entitled Memento Mori which would be translated as "Of One's Own Volition" and brings some last thoughts to the over 350 people who took their own life in this place.

We also wanted to reach the monument but we couldn't spot it anywhere on the side we were crossing under the bridge. However, from what I know there is a weird-looking street lamp that redirects the light to the opposite direction than the rest, which has this plate at its bottom.


I know this has been a rather weird place to visit while being in Prague as I can't imagine what kind of people would have fun taking a selfie with this bridge or posing with a smile on their faces. But personally, for me, it was a lot more than anything seen so far in my life, and rather a physical reminder that life is too short to be mean with those around you especially when it's impossible to know what everyone is going on through and that maybe it's the last time you see them. Because no doubt life never gives you signs with this purpose and you will never be ready for this kind of situation.

In order to reach the Nustle Bridge, there are quite a few options, from simply taking a walk to getting a taxi, a tram, or the C subway. Either way, in order to get up on the bridge most likely you will have to access this from one of the two sides since I couldn't spot any stairs located on the foot of the pillars that will bring you to the top.

Other places I've seen during my stay in Prague:

more coming soon...

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Gabriela Travels is the FOUNDER of "Festival Mania" who started this community from the passion of attending various festivals and with the purpose of encouraging more people to explore festivals all around the world and share their experiences. At the same time, Gabriela is an independent Graphic Design Freelancer since 2019 completing over 600+ orders in this time and collaborating with various businesses and people from all over the globe. Additionally, Gabriela has her own corner on the internet since 2017 where she writes various articles for her blog, the most popular being the travel ones (260+ articles written on this field), but also abording other topics as well, like game reviews, movie and series reviews, photography posts, cooking recipes and more, boosting the total number of articles written to 550+ blog posts. Gabriela is also a gamer since she was 11 years old and gaming remains one of her biggest passions along with traveling, editing, cooking, and doing various sports activities.

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I was trying to understand the structure of this bridge through your photos and I would say it's a pretty solid structure. Currently, this kind of bridge structure is what civil engineers avoid due to span and cost I guess.

I won't say anything about suicide but I think because of its height, suicides happen often here...

Absolutely! I wish we had such solid bridges in Romania too, but if it means to have a similar height then it's better that we don't have since the hope for life is pretty low in my country and perhaps many would comite suicides from there. I don't even want to imagine the disaster that would be.

But yeah, most likely the height of the bridge is what encouraged these to commit suicides thinking that it's a 100% method of fulfilling their desire...

perhaps many would comite suicides from there.

Yes you are right and definitely engineers now avoid building such kind of bridges due to cost and also because of surrounding.

commit suicides thinking that it's a 100% method of fulfilling their desire...

We had something similar in my homeland Bangladesh and later government destroyed the old bridge and made a new one but security system is tight there now...

That's sad to hear..

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