Saturday, October 1, 2011

A Walk Across the Charles Bridge

The Charles Bridge is the Tourism Star of Prague. It connects the Mala Strana and Castle Quarter on the west bank of Vltava, to Old Town on the east bank. Construction started in 1357 and was not completed until the early 1400s. Talk about not being "shovel ready." Anyway, we can safely presume that this was before the era of the automobile. Although it is wide, it is pedestrian only. Good thing it is because it is elbow-to-elbow, butt-to-belly busy on that bridge. It is lousy with tourists. And I was one of them.

The sides of the bridges are lined with various religious statuary. Aside from a couple of Christs on the Cross and a pietà where I can recognize the major players, I don't know the identity of the myriad of saints who line the sides of the bridge in stone statue form. There are as many Prague guidebooks out there identifying the saints by statue as there are tourists on the bridge -- well, not really, as the number of tourists on the bridge is more akin to the number of grains of sand on the beach -- but, regardless, I don't know and I'm not guessing, so just enjoy the tour of the saint-statues lining the Charles Bridge without further comment from me:

OK. You knew I couldn't hold back from commenting forever. But you have to admit that was an awfully long stretch with no talking from me. A couple of points. First, that big giant balloon from the Kafka Museum is visible in a couple of these pictures, such as this:

Finally, apparently, it must be good luck to touch a dog that is at the base of one of these statues because (a) people are continually reaching out and being photographed touching the bronze dog:

And (b) the dog is completely clean while the rest of the statue is soot black.

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