Monday, August 13, 2012

A stroll across the Charles Bridge


At the statue of St. John of Nepomuk, be sure to use your left hand to touch the bronze plaque depicting St. John being thrown off the bridge and make a wish.  It brings good luck and ensures that you'll some day return to Prague.

A lot of people don't know the legend, thus they don't know which plaque to touch.  Or it could just be that sometimes there are a lot of people crowded around the statue waiting for their chance to touch it.  Whatever the reason, the pup has become quite shiny!

Although shiny from all of the people who've touched, this statue isn't nearly as popular as the previous one, thus you'll be able to touch St. John and make your wish.  On the bridge itself, see the cross with five stars?  Place the five fingers of your left hand on the stars and send a wish to someone (or to yourself) as you look into the Vlatava.  This is said to be the exact spot where the priest was thrown into the river in the year 1383.  Legend has it that stars appeared when he touched the water.

He represents a mythical knight with a golden sword, a coat-of-arms and a faithful lion.  This statue is intended to remind the passers-by the rights of the Old Town, especially the right to take tolls and duty.  According to legend, Bruncvik was a Czech ruler who went to faraway countries to gain a right to have a stately coat-of-arms.  On his journey, he saved a lion from a dragon, and that lion then accompanied him everywhere he went, and thus a lion became the national emblem of Bohemia.  Bruncvik also acquired a magical  sword that protected him and could kill anybody on his demand.  Legend states that the sword was built up somewhere in the Charles Bridge and it will remain there until the country is ever in danger.  In 1890, a big rusty sword was really found in the bridge deck when the Charles Bridge was restored after a flood.

One of the most charming buildings in Prague...

Every evening someone comes out to light the lamp...