A stone bridge with seven arches, originally called Podskalský and in 1940–1945 Mozart bridge, was built in 1876–1878 after the design by Bedřich Münzberger and Josef Reiter. On February 14, 1945, the last bridge arch on the side of New Town was hit during a USAAF air raid. At the same time two groups of sculptures with subjects from old Czech tales by the sculptor Josef Václav Myslbek – Lumír and the Song (1888) and Přemysl and Libuše (1982) – were damaged as well. The witnesses of the bombardment recall that “due to the air pressure people were swept away into the Vltava River from both the Palacký and Jirásek bridges.”
Josef Sudek photographed the New Town side of the bridge only after the debris had been removed, when it was being used by pedestrians again. It must have happened sometime during 1945, because one of the variants of the image appeared in the Prague Calendar 1946, published at the end of the previous year. Sudek pointed his camera to the east so that he would also get a view of the Emmaus monastery, which had suffered considerable damage during the February bombing as well. He paid special attention to the ruined sculpture groups Lumír and the Song and Přemysl with Libuše (detailed pictures of both were also published in the Prague Calendar 1946).
During the restoration works after the war in 1950–1951 the bridge was extended by 3 metres. At present Palacký Bridge is the third oldest preserved bridge in Prague and it is the sixth bridge in the direction of the Vltava River. Myslbek's restored sculptures are placed in the park at Vyšehrad, together with other works that the artist originally created for the Palacký Bridge – Záboj and Slavoj (1895) and Ctirad and Šárka (1897).