Everybody enjoys a good doggy, so it comes as no shock that there are monuments and statues that pay homage to man’s most effective mate. Japan has the famed Hachikō doggy statue, but there’s an additional beloved doggy in yet another element of the world that may possibly be lesser recognised. Holidaymakers ambling more than the damed medieval Charles Bridge in Prague usually come across by themselves drawn to 1 precise, famous pup framed in a bronze relief on the foundation of a statue of Saint John of Nepomuk. In this aid sculpture, a knight stands in the foreground gently caressing his faithful hound. The pet is so nicely-liked by passersby that it has arrive to glow a golden shade from receiving so quite a few pets. So what is the story guiding this adorable custom? We have to vacation back to 14th-century Prague to find out the story of this bridge and the saint to start with.
Background of Charles Bridge and Saint John of Nepomuk
The Charles Bridge vaults more than the Vltava (Moldau) River in Prague in the Czech Republic. The medieval stone bridge was created from 1357–1402. It was produced on the orders of King Charles IV of Bohemia, who also turned the Holy Roman Emperor. His son King Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia afterwards continued the making task. Today, the amazing bridge however stands and is adorned with statues included throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. Travelers flock to it, situated as it is on an extraordinary walk concerning Outdated Town and the Prague Castle.
The earliest of these statues is a bronze dating to 1683. Atop a pedestal stands a illustration of the medieval Roman Catholic saint identified as Saint John of Nepomuk. The priest lived from about 1345 to 1393, a lifespan which coincidently mainly coincided with the bridge’s construction. According to his hagiography (the daily life of a saint), John of Nepomuk was confessor to the Queen of Bohemia.
This placement was weak John’s downfall. When the indignant and jealous king demanded to know the content material of his wife’s confession, Saint John of Nepomuk refused to divulge. The king—likely Wenceslaus IV—retaliated by dumping the stubborn cleric into the Vltava River to drown. While not beatified or canonized right up until the 18th century, it appears John of Nepomuk was quickly revered as a martyr for the sacred secrecy of the confessional. He also came to be revered as a image of the church’s resistance to encroachment from monarchial states.
Shortly right before officially turning into a saint, John of Nepomuk was memorialized on the Charles Bridge. His statue attributes a five-star crown, a palm (a symbol of martyrdom), and a cross. Beneath his figure lie two bronze plaques eco-friendly with age and publicity. One capabilities his martyrdom scene. Legend has it touching the falling priest—and even the queen on the bridge—is very good luck. Like these two places, a dog prominently depicted on the other panel is also rubbed to a golden sheen.
The Knight and the Doggy
In the panel prominently showcasing a knight and a doggy, it is a little bit unclear why the pet dog is depicted, as no “good boys” are talked about in the saint’s existence. Specialists on the bridge’s legends speculate the knight and pet might depict loyalty and obligation, which the priest as soon as espoused to his flock and church. Curiously, old images do not present the pet dog shining golden from a lot of animals. This indicates that the petting is a 20th-century innovation, in spite of the age of the statue.
While the pet dog is not regarded as to be fortunate accurately, persons clearly like to pet it due to the fact its loving and loyal demeanor signifies a longstanding like of dogs. From the statues’ creators to modern visitors, every person needs to pet a excellent pet dog. Next time you are in Prague, wander throughout the Charle’s Bridge for a dose of historical past and an lovely pet.