Make a wish on the Charles Bridge
Charles Bridge is not just a tourist attraction. It dates back to medieval times and the whole time it has been the main pedestrian route linking the Old Town with Mala Strana, and then onto Prague Castle itself. But there is another thing that the Charles Bridge is famous for. You can make a wish there that will certainly come true if you do it the right way! It is not complicated, don’t worry. I will help you.
An alley of 30 baroque statues and statuaries erected during the late 17th and the early 18th centuries decorates Charles Bridge. These statues and statuarities depicting saints is the key point here. They do not only form a unique connection of artistic styles – Gothic and Baroque. Touching one of them will ensure you good luck, guarantee your return to Prague and you can make a wish as well. Are you keen on which one is it?
You have to find a statue of St. John of Nepomuk. It is the 8th statue on the right hand if you are heading from Old Town Square towards the Prague Castle. If you don’t want to count, it may be easier for you to look for the shiny-like-gold spot on the bottom of one of these statues.
John of Nepomuk was a priest in Prague under King Wenceslas IV (son of Charles IV). The priest received the confessions of the Queen. Unfortunately for John of Nepomuk the King was a very suspicious man. He wanted to know the Queen’s confessions which Nepomuk would not reveal, not even to the King, because it would be against his commitment of confidentiality. Nepomuk was therefore executed by being thrown into the Vltava River from the bridge and drown.
The plaque on the statue of John of Nepomuk 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. However, don’t get confused by the shiny dog and woman (the Queen)! Not everybody knows the legend and therefore is not sure what to touch! It became shiny only by chance. It doesn’t mean anything special.
Some meters before the actual statue (going back to Old Town Square) on the same side is a small golden cross marking the spot where the saint’s body was thrown into the Vltava river. You have to look for it carefully for the cross is not sticking out – it rests on the bridge. Touch the cross and make a wish! It is said it will come true within a year and one day!
Try to visit the Charles Bridge early at the morning for a less crowded walk, or go at night for a truly romantic stroll, with fairytale views of the Prague skyline, dominated by the magnificent Prague Castle.