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☆ Charles Bridge ☆


☆ Charles Bridge ☆

☆ Charles Bridge ☆

The spectacular Charles Bridge (Karlov most) has witnessed more than 600 years of processions, battles, executions and, increasingly, film shoots..

From the parapet of the Old Town bridge tower, you can see the gentle S-curve that the architect  Peter Parlé built into the  viaduct to obstruct invaders,the Judith Bridge, in Gothic style.. as well as a jaw-dropping panorama of the city..

☆ Charles Bridge ☆

The Calvary will cause double-takes among students of Hebrew..

☆ Charles Bridge ☆

This sculpture is one of the most historically interesting sculptures on the bridge, which gradually gained its present appearance throughout many centuries..

The original wooden crucifix was installed at this place soon after 1361 and probably destroyed by the Hussites in 1419..  This was replaced by another wooden Calvary which, in turn, was replaced with a metal version in 1657..

In 1666, two lead figures were added, but these were replaced in 1861 by the present sandstone statues portraying the Virgin Mary and John the Evangelist..

The golden hebrew text on the crucifix was added in 1696.. It was placed there as punishment for a Prague Jew, Eliass Backoffen, who has been convicted of debasing the Holy Cross..

The text is derived from the words of the prophet Isaiah and reads, in English, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts..

These words, which are the origin of the Sanctus in the Mass, are an important confession of faith in the Jewish tradition as well..

Halfway across the bridge is a brass cross (The Lorraine Cross) where John Nepomuk’s body was thrown into the river..

☆ Charles Bridge ☆

This saint (John of Nepomuk) was thrown off the bridge here, and there is a picture of the act on his statue..

☆ Charles Bridge ☆

The plaque on the statue has been polished to a shine by countless people having touched it over the centuries..

Touching the falling priest on the plaque is supposed to bring good luck and ensure your return to Prague..

Supposedly you can get one wish, so there was a crowd of tourists waiting for their wish..

☆ Charles Bridge ☆

The portrait of Mary (Our Lady of the Mangles) hanging on the house south of the bridge is tied to an ancient tale of miraculous healing..

☆ Charles Bridge ☆

Seeing the light go out on the balcony below is supposedly an omen of imminent death – don’t stare too long..

One of many artists selling work from the bridge, Antonin paints portraits of himself as the devil.. His proximity to the Certovka (Devil’s Canal) may be the key..

The bridge’s most distinguishing feature is its gallery of 30 statues..

☆ Charles Bridge ☆

The saints and other religious figures were installed, from 1683 onwards, to lead the masses back to mass..

Some, such as Braun’s St Luitgard, are incomparably lovely; others, such as Bohn’s Calvary, are politically controversial..

☆ Charles Bridge ☆

Today all the statues are reproductions – the originals are preserved in museums across the city..

Statue of Bruncvik

☆ Charles Bridge ☆

Peer over the bridge’s southern edge to see the Czech’s answer to King Arthur.. Bruncvik and his army are promised to awaken and save Prague at the city’s most desperate hour..

Statue of Sts Cyril and Methodius

☆ Charles Bridge ☆

Greek missionaries who brought both Christianity and the Cyrillic alphabet to the Czech lands, Cyril and Methodius are national heroes to this day.. Karel Dvo∫ák created this statue  in 1928 at the peak of Czechoslovakia’s period of National Awakening, following independence..

Statue of St Luitgard

☆ Charles Bridge ☆

Matthias Brauns’ 1710 depiction of a blind nun’s dream, in which the crucified Christ permitted her to touch his wounds, retains a timeless appeal..

Statue of the Trinitarian Order

☆ Charles Bridge ☆

This religious order was set up to ransom prisoners of war from the Crusades and buy Christians back their freedom; hence the bored Turk guarding the cell..

Statuary of St. John of Matha, St. Felix of Valois and St. Ivan..

The most popular bridge statue and also the most capacious and expensive one.. It was built in honour of two founders of the Trinitarian Order, the Order taking care of buying out and gaining Christians from unbeliever’s power..

The pedestal of the statue is formed by a cave, in which three chained Christians ask God for salvation..

☆ Charles Bridge ☆

On the side of the cave window a Turk is on guard – this is one of the most famous Prague plastics..

St. Felix holds the cartouche with one hand while presenting the other hand to a liberated Christian..

Above the Turk the figure of St. John of Matha with a deer, whose vision prompted foundation of the Order.. Then St. Ivan kneels above St. Felix..

One Comment leave one →
  1. Peter permalink
    13/06/2009 14:01

    Great pictures you have!
    Here a great video I found!

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