Prague Legends

Legends of the Charles Bridge – Jan Nepomucky

Sep 11, 18:21 Filed under history

Charles Bridge in the centre of Prague Just few weeks ago it was 650 years, when the fundamental stone of the most famous Prague monument – the Charles Bridge – was laid down. It happened exactly on 9 July 1357,
at 5:31 AM, during the early morning cockerow.

It´s founder and „father“, our most liberal sovereign Charles IV, Czech and Roman king, would be „in“ in our times. He believed that the exact time of birth is important for the whole destiny of the subject, it´s character and influence on the other world. He let the court astrologers count the best moment of the whole year. And a new bridge for Prague was really necessary, the former Judita´s bridge served out and was taken away by the flash flood.

This construction is connected with many legends, myths and stories, for which one whole library would not be enough. This time I would like to introduce you one legend related to the oldest sculpture of Jan Nepomucky.

This saint man was dropped in a wooden basket from the Charles Bridge into the Vltava river where he drowned just because he refused to give away a confessional secret. One of the king Charles´s wives was mistrusted of having a secret lover. She was going to Jan to the Brevnov monastery for a regular confessions, but he never revealed any secret he had heard in the confession. After his death it was possible to see five stars on the water level. These stars are now decorating his sculpture.

The statue of Jan Nepomucky on the Charles Bridge in Prague To give honour to his heroic act a white metal crucifix is situated on the bridge, on which visitors and tourists put their hands. They believe this place has a special power for those who touch it. You can try it as well !

This bridge (not only for the legends) has it´s soul. If you are wondering what it means for this construction full of stone to have a soul, try to go there at early morning, for example after your busy night in Prague. The best time to visit it is at about 6 or 7 AM, walk across the bridge, when the city is still sleeping, let the cool morning appeal on you,listen to splashing water and smell the crimpy scent of the river.

The bridge will talk to you silently, about his history and about the whole history of Prague, about the human power and the energy to pass the obstructions during the eternal history. The bridge has a deep soul…Charles IV made his choice well…

The incredible Charles Bridge

Jul 14, 15:25 Filed under history

Charles Bridge at night This famous bridge has just celebrated 650th birthday!! How cool is that! That is hell of a lot years, don’t you think? Just think about it: in 1357, English poet Geoffrey Chaucer was only 14 years old; the Hundred Years War between France and England was about to end in next 96 years; Columbus was about to discover America not sooner than 135 years later; Pilgrims celebrated their first Thanksgiving after long 264 years… Jeez, do you know any older bridge that serves thousands of pedestrians every day?

It is truly amazing that the Charles Bridge has survived all those floods and wars it had to undergo over the time. Many legends about its incredibly good condition surrender the bridge from the very beginning – the date and time for the launch of the construction was chosen very carefully.

The first stone was laid in the year 1357 on the 9th of July at 5:31 in the morning. This exact timing forms the sequence of ascending and descending odd digits: 135797531. I was speechless when I found out. The Emperor, Charles IV, believed that this magical combination of numbers would protect the bridge. And maybe it did in deed.

Another legend says that during construction, real eggs were added to mortar to strengthen the bridge. It is to say that eggs are not really typical addition. The eggs were collected from villages from the whole kingdom. People in one village, however, were afraid that the eggs would break on the way and so they sent boiled ones. Everyone in Prague laughed at them but in the end those eggs served as a good snack for the workers.

So what made the difference? The eggs or the timing? Who knows! But what I know is that the “birthday party” for the Charles Bridge was huge!! However, in order to celebrate more of its anniversaries in the future, complete renovation of the Charles Bridge is in progress. This renovation will take many years, but don’t worry, the passing will be permitted.

Why Are Czechs Called Czechs And Not Anything Else?

Jan 27, 16:20 Filed under history

Amazing view from Petrin Observation Tower History is, without any doubt, an important aspect of any nation and it’s self-awareness. And historical myths have even better impact because they are often better known than the facts. So let’s retell the two most popular Czech legends narrating how it all began. Once upon a time…

There were three brothers named Czech, Lech and Rus. One day, they decided to find for their tribes and themselves a new place to live, and so they all set out for a long journey across the Europe. After some days had passed, the brother Rus suddenly said. „This is the new home for me and my tribe!“ and so they stayed and founded Russia.

The two brothers and their tribes walked for many days, when they climbed up a hill that is now called Rip (Říp). There they had a wonderful view of the land that the forefather Czech called the „land of milk and honey“, and decided to settle here with his tribe.

To honour this great man, the people of his tribe started to call themselves Czechs. And they still do now. And brother Lech? He continued his journey with his people and settled in present-day Poland.

The Rip Hill is about 50 km north of Prague and you can see it from the Petrin tower at Petrin Hill. The Petrin tower, which is “Prague’s miniature Eiffel Tower”, is open from 10 a.m. till 8 p.m. and costs 30 CZK. You get to see not only Rip Hill but also the whole city and it’s surroundings. It’s worth it!

Why is Prague called Praha in Czech?

Oct 22, 02:04 Filed under history

Why? That’s the most popular question all over the world. Everyone wants to know why things are the way the are and why they are not the other way. Well, let’s answer one of those questions starting with why.

Church of St. Peter and Paul in Vysehrad in Prague The legend says that the Czechs lived happily in the Czech lands after the forefather Czech settled with his people round the Rip (Říp) mountain. Couple years later, the Czechs had a new leader called Krok living at Vysehrad, which is now the Czech National Cemetery. Krok had three daughters. The youngest one, princess Libuse, ruled the Czech people after her father’s death. She was a woman of great beauty and wisdom who possessed prophetic powers.

Statue if Princess Libuse and Premysl by Josef Myslbek One day, she had a vision foreseeing the founding of Prague – in Czech Praha. She stood atop Vysehrad hill, overlooking Vltava river, and said: „I see a large city whose fame will touch the stars!“ Immediately, she instructed builders to go in direction of her vision, which was across the river, and build a castle where a man was making a threshold – prah in Czech – and so they named the new city Praha.

Rotunda of St. Martin at Vusehrad You can visit Vysehrad, the original residence of the Czech kings and the legendary seat of Princess Libuse as well as the Vysehrad´s cemetery were the Czech outstanding personalities such as artists, scientists and academics are buried. To name some of them – world famous composers such as B. Smetana or A. Dvorak rest here.

Slavin cemetery at Vysehrad - Prague The cemetery is open daily from 8 AM till 7 PM. You just take the subway – red line C and get off at the station Vysehrad and follow the signs, how easy.

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