Base of Saint John of Nepomuk statue

This statue dates to 1683, making it the oldest of 30-ish statues to be added to the bridge over the centuries.

The two bas-reliefs show two key scenes in the saint’s probably legendary life: (1) hearing the Queen of Bohemia’s confession and learning a massive secret which the king tried to torture out of him, unsuccessfully; (2) being thrown into the Vltava River after dying from torture.

Touching the two bright two spots on the images is said to bring good luck and / or make wishes come true and / or ensure you’ll come back to Prague someday. But the tradition may be super recent, created as a bit of a prank just in the last few decades. It’s as obscure as real details of J of N’s life, to be honest.

What’s definitely real is that tourists crowd around the statue and touch the spots all the time; sometimes they take photos or videos of their hands while doing so, sometimes they close their eyes in prayer or meditation or silent wishing. And they repeat the story to each other. Some say only touching the figure of Saint John of N (right panel) will grant wishes. Those people will still encourage others to touch the dog in the other panel. I guess because it’s nice to pet the doggo.

I had to wait like five minutes to get a clear shot, and even then my window of opportunity was brief.

   12 May 2023
   Public Art
   1/100s    f/5.6   28mm   ISO 100
Base of Saint John of Nepomuk statue on Charles Bridge, with two spots rubbed bright