Friday, February 20, 2009

Karluv Most aka Charles Bridge

One must enter Mala Strana through the gothic bridge Charles Bridge that dates back to the early 11th century. The stone bridge is guarded with 30 statues of saints, primarily Baroque from the 17th and 18th centuries.

The oldest statue on the bridge is the martyr saint John of Nepomuk who was executed following the orders of Wenceslaus, King of the Romans and Bohemia. The saint was first tortured and then thrown off-drowned in the Vtalva River. St. John of Nepomuk was accused of being the confessor of the Queen, wife of Wenceslaus and refusing to divulge the secrets of the confessional.

It’s very easy to spot this statue because there is always a group of people waiting in line to rub the base that portrays the life of St. John. The plaque has been polished to a shine by scores of people stroking it over the centuries with the belief that this will bring them good luck and ensuring their return to Prague. Honestly, I find it quite amusing and not being a believer of these things, I decided to take a souvenir foto. I waited until I had the opportunity to get a good shot of a woman, her arms spread out like an eagle touching both shiny plaques. Just perfect.

On the bridge are many street vendors selling crafts, souvenir items and what-nots. Part of the bridge is also currently under renovation (Dec 2008). It feels like there is a festival on this bridge =)

The most popular statue on the bridge:

St. John of Nepomuk. The woman has an incredible pose haha.

Travel Period: December 2008

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