The tradition on Charles bridge looks like typical touristic tradition. You have to fondle the plafond of one of statues in the Charles bridge. Seems it is for luck! I'm not sure. In the photo you can see that people believe on this tradition very much - see how shines the plafond. :-)
This interesting and very attractive sculpture, created by Ana Tzarev, stands in a small square right next to the National Theater. Ana Tzarev is a Croatian born artist, known for her large-scale sculptures and paintings. In her works, both paintings and sculptures, she is using pure vibrant colors and unique sculptural approach. Although Croatian by origins, she is a real citizen of the world and her unique styled sculptures can be seen in many open spaces around the world
As written on the drawplate, the sculpture is part of the Global Sculpture Campaign and is moving to many cities around the world. It was exposed in Prague from May til the end August 2013. I was lucky to see it during my visit to Prague.
From June to September, life-sized sculptures of cows, created and painted by Czech artists, are brightening the streets and public spaces of the city. At the end of the project, selected sculptures will be sold at auction to raise money for children's charities.
You turn a corner and another one greets you. They are all different and are amusing to look at.
When passing over Charles Bridge, it is a local custom to stop at the statue of St. John Nepomuk and make a wish. There are two brass panels beneath the statue, one of which shows a mother and child protected by a soldier (with someone being thrown off the bridge) and the other depicts soldier and his dog. It is custom to make a wish whilst touching the panel for your wish to come true. I will let you know in due course if it works!
The changing of the guards ceremony takes place at Hadcrany Castle on the hour but the most hilarious one is at noon when there is music and banner exchange. For the best view stand peer through the gate on the far left hand side to see the banner exchange or inside the coutyard to see the musicians.
To sum it up it was like watching Trumpton to the sound of Thunderbirds theme tune witrh the guards marching like John Cleese doing his silly walk!
If you are in Prague during the Easter holidays, you shouldn't miss the Easter market. It is in the Old town square and it is working from the morning till the evenng every day even in the Holly Sunday too. There is possible to buy traditional decorated eggs and other Easter's gifts and presents.
Here's the real scoop on the luck superstitions of the Charles Bridge... The 16th statue walking across the Charles Bridge from the Old Town towards the Castle is a statue of St. John of Nepomuk. He's easy to find because he's exactly halfway across and has 5 gold stars forming a halo around his head. He is the national saint of Bohemia. St. John (real name "Jan Velflin") was a vicar-general that went against the wishes of King Wenceslaus IV. As a result, he was tortured and thrown from the Charles Bridge into the Vltava River where he drown on March 20, 1393. Legend has it that that five sparkling points of light ("stars") appeared hovering above the river soon after this about 500 metres downstream from where the priest was thrown in. A drought a few months later revealed the priest's body on the dry riverbed below where the stars had been.
Anyway, on the pedestal below the statue are three plaques. Now if you are going to be a tourist and be superstitious, you can at least try to do the local superstition correctly!
The plaque on the right depicts St. John being thrown off the bridge. You want to touch the depiction of the saint on the bridge. ...Not the bum of the big, fat lady on the shore underneath him! (Which I saw many an unknowing tourist enthusiastically fondle.) Touching the saint will bring you good luck and ensure that you return to Prague soon.
The plaque in the middle has some Latin stuff on it that you probably don't understand anyway, so you can ignore that one.
The plaque on the left of the pedestal shows a guard and a dog. Some superstitions say that petting the dog will reward you with a faithful spouse, keep a secret hidden from others forever, or bring you luck. Others say that petting the dog is incredibly bad luck. So best to stay away from this one altogether. Besides, nobody used to touch the dog until some drunk Czech students polished it shiny sometime around 2006 just to see if people would be dumb enough to touch it too. Sure enough, people did. They must still be laughing their heads off about that prank.
Several feet away from this statue, facing towards the Old Town Square, on the left side top edge of the bridge is a bronze cross with five stars on it. This marks the place that St. John was thrown into the river. It's said that placing your left hand on it, with one finger touching each of the stars, will make any wish come true. While I was there, no tourists even seemed to notice this cross except for me. "This must have been where they threw him off," I said to my companions feeling very clever with myself.
Prague has not been ruled by a monarch since 1918; it's not called the Czech Republic for nothing. But the Crown Jewels have an importance that go far beyond any mere monarchial appeal. In the summer of 2003, the Crown Jewels were put out on display for a brief period, in honor of the new Czech President; and thousands of people arranged their lives and sacrificed their time for the rare opportunity to see first-hand these emblems of Czech nationhood. Simply put, they are a significant embodiment of the ideals of the Czech State. Isn't it interesting how there is a basic desire to invest the nation-state with quasi-religious symbols: a crown, a battlefield, a flag. Nationality and patriotism are all wrapped up with the emblems of religion; these people were willing to wait in long lines for a few seconds glance as a sacred object.
Wentzel Square is much more than a nice boulevard to take a walk.
For the people in Prague and the whole of Czechia it is also a place, where they gather in order to protest.
Jan Palach, a young student burnt himself there in 1969 in order to protest against the end of the " Prague Spring Revolution "
Russian tanks occupied the square in 1968 and made an end to a smooth revolution " a la Prague " , that had given a bit of freedom of speach and arts to the people.
Close to the Charlesbridge on the Kampa peninsula there is a wall of the Maltese embassy that shows plenty of graffities, including the most famous one :
It had to be repainted quite often in Communiste times, ( and therefore it looks a bit different on many pics ) as it was regularily removed by the police, as there was a " bad capitalist message" as well :
...You may say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one...
Today it is really hard to be found between so many other graffities with less peaceful messages...
Each traveler has a personal priorities when sightseeing the city, and they are so diverse that it is difficult even to count all of them. Some never miss museums, galleries, churches or city parks, while the others rush to shopping paradises, night clubs, famous cafe-bars or best known restaurants.
For me the priority are city squares because, in my opinion, they represent the soul of the city. The city squares ticking the rhythm of the city and shows the temperament and the culture of its inhabitants. There are a lot of beautiful cities that are like Sleeping Beauty because their squares all day long empty.....
When crossing the Charles Bridge you may see , that almost everyone of the local people will touch a certain spot of the statue of Holy Jan Nepomuk, who was killed by the king by throwing him into the Moldau / Vltava from the bridge in 1393.
Touching the statue will bring good luck...
Every day I was in Prague and I was going from the Vaclavske Namesti to the Old Town Square I would pass this guy. The sword is real. He let me touch it. He would stick that thing into him right down to the hilt!
I have to say that the street entertainment in Prague was second to none. Gymnasts, sword eaters, and even opera singers that could really sing.
Yesterday I was wondering around at the small lanes at the foot of Charles' Bridge on the opposite side of the old town. When I turned my back, I saw these 2 hilarious peeing status. Their asses could move left and right and their "brothers" could really more up and down. Watching the tourists posing all kinds of funny poses with them was really cracking me up!
This is why I like to walk around in small lanes off the beaten path, you will always have surprises!
On Karls Bridge lots of artist both musicians and painters are showing their arts. I think this particular drawings are very good. The tourist trap is ofcourse that these paintings are not so very cheap.