Monday, June 16, 2014

Prague's Charles Bridge

To start off our first full day in Prague, we had to have breakfast. Sara had a delightful little hot sandwich with a nice, frothy coffee at a cafe. I had... a garlic-flavored sausage with sauerkraut and cheap instant coffee in a paper cup. You decide who got the better of it.

Cory's Breakfast
Sara's Breakfast

Sadly, it was raining, and would be raining for the rest of the day. We didn't mind too much because...
  1. We were in Prague, one of the most beautiful cities on Earth
  2. We got to take postcard pictures people with umbrellas in the rain.

Charles Bridge in the Rain in Prague
On Lots of Postcards

Our hostel was right at the base of the Charles Bridge, one of the distinguishing features of Prague. It has stood here on the Vltava River since the fourteenth century. Today, it is a murderer's row of statues depicting Czech religious and political heroes. Below are some highlights...

Charles Bridge Figures Prague
Charles Bridge Figures

Whoa Charles Bridge, Prague

Gray Skies on Charles Bridge Prague
Gray Skies

One of Prague's religious heroes is St. John of Nepomuk. During his fourteenth-century lifetime, he was the priest to whom the Queen confessed her weekly sins. The King wanted him to share the inside scoop of his wife's misdeeds, but he refused. As Kings tend to do, he ordered a political hit on the priest, and he was thrown off this bridge into the river below. It is said that when he hit the water, five stars appeared on the surface.

Today, he is shows with a ring of five stars around his head. At the base of his statue and in another spot on the bridge where the throw actually occurred are little bronze depictions of the scene. People line up to make wishes as touch the Saint. Notice how the bronze is rubbed clean and shiny by the repeated touching.

St. John of Nepomuk statue on Charles Bridge Prague
St. John of Nepomuk

St. John of Nepomuk carving rubbed clean from touching
Rubbed Clean

Emily Making a Wish on St. John of Nepomuk Charles Bridge Prague
Emily Making a Wish

The bridge is particularly beautiful at night, when carefully-placed lights illuminate the statues and structures and the crowds have cleared out.

Bridge Gate of Charles Bridge Prague
Bridge Gate

We would cross this bridge many times during our stay in Prague. It was our shortest route to the Old Town just across the river, so we were back and forth on the bridge several times each day. No complaints here!

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