"The Charles Bridge Statues (5 photos)" Charles Bridge Tip by nicolaitan
Charles Bridge, Prague: 413 reviews and 765 photos
For many years, only a single cross decorated the Charles Bridge, but in 1683 a single statue of St. John of Nepomuk was placed at the site of his martyrdom. Now (replicas of) 30 statues line the bridge, 15 north and south, placed by the Catholic rulers of Prague during the 17th and 18th Centuries. The most popular remains the first. Touching the cross and stars in the right lower panel is supposed to bring good luck, while touching the dog on the left panel brings bad luck. The bridge has become so crowded with tourists today that apparently the bad luck associated with the dog has conveniently been forgotten and visitors touch anything on which they can lay their fingers. By legend, this court priest of King Wenceslaw IV was thrown to his death after torture from this site on the bridge. As he hit the water, 5 stars appeared as shown around his head in the statue. The legend attributes his bad fortune to failing to divulge to the king the content of the queen's confession, but in reality it was all about politics. He invited to Prague a bishop disliked by the king, simple.
The remaining statues feature other saints including Wenceslas, John the Baptist, Francis of Assisi, Vitus, and Christopher, as well as the Madonna, Jesus on the Cross, and a Pieta'. The cross contains gold Hebrew letters supposedly a fine to a Jew who ridiculed the cross in mixed company.
The Charles Bridge may be overrun by tourists, the Hare Krishne dancer (yes, really) visit on a regular basis, and peace marchers occupied the bridge on the evening we visited. Nonetheless it represents a do-not-miss feature of Prague.
Address: Karluv most
Directions: Connecting Old Town and Lesser Town
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