The day started with a bike ride throughout this wonderful city of Prague. Along the ride throughout Old Town, over the St. Charles Bridge, and within the Jewish Quarter, two attractions stood out most: the plaques embedded on the lower sides of the statue honoring John Nepomuk, the patron saint of bridges, and another small bridge located near the Lennon Wall that houses a multitude of tiny locks along its iron railing.
As you make your way across the St. Charles Bridge away from Old Town, several statutes decorate the sides of the bridge. At the end of the path, the statue of St. John Nepomuk. St. John of Nepomuk was said to be the Queen’s confessor of an affair she had with one of the men in the King’s court during the 14th century. After the King gained knowledge that Nepomuk knew of the scandal, he tortured the priest and eventually had him thrown over the St. Charles Bridge into the Vltava River after Nepomuk refused to tell. It is said that when St. John Nepomuk hit the water five stars appeared above his head eventually giving incentive to make him the patron saint of bridges. Two gold panels decorate the base of St. Nepomuk’s statue. The plaques on either side of his statue depict the queen and a dog (which is said to be unlucky if rubbed) and of a scene where the queen watches Nepomuk being tossed over the bridge. St. John Nepomuk’s death scene is the lucky portion to rub despite the bright spot on the dog from uninformed travelers.
Across the St. Charles Bridge adjacent to the Lennon Wall stands a small bridge containing a plethora of locks, all shapes and sizes. These locks are promises made by lovers symbolizing their commitment to one another. The promise is made by coming to the bridge together, locking their lock to the iron rod of the bridge railing, writing their names on the lock, and then tossing the key into the river below. Quite romantic an idea, but for this trip a better practice for collecting details in a photograph than sending off death wishes to the singular lifestyle.