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Day 5: Thursday, July 14, 2022 – Charles Bridge

A photo shoot in front of the famous Charles Bridge.

Vltava River runs through Prague and separates the Old Town from the Lesser Town, and Prague Castle. The Powder Tower separates the Old Town from the New Town.

Both the Vltava River and the Elbe River flow to the North Sea. They do not flow into the Danube River. The bridge was built in the 14th century and took about 30 years to build. It is said that Charles IV laid the first stone on 5:31am on 9 July 1357. This exact time was very important to the Holy Roman Emperor because he was a strong believer in numerology and felt that this specific time, which formed a palindrome (1357 9/7 5:31) would imbue the bridge with additional strength. It was the only bridge crossing the river until 1841. There are now 19 bridges.

Statues were added much later in 1712 and served as a type of billboard for the Catholics who were often uneducated. The original statues are in the museums due to the effects of weather.

Saint Christopher is always shown with a baby on his back. In fact, Christopher means “man who holds Christ”. According to legend, Saint Christopher devoted his life to carrying the weak and poor across a river. One night, when he was carrying a child, he felt his burden grow heavier with each step. When questioned, the child declared that he was Christ and that Christopher was thus bearing the weight of the world.

Wenceslaus is the third most statued person in the Czech Republic behind Jesus and Mary.

Bridge Street in the Lesser Town is connected with Charles Street in Old Town by the Charles Bridge. There is a statue of Charles IV at the bridge entrance in Old Town. I guess that Charles IV might be the fourth most statued person!!!

Charles IV was declared Holy Roman Emperor in 1355 and oversaw one third of Europe.

St. John of Nepomuk was tortured and thrown off the bridge by the King. It is said that he would not divulge the results of his wife’s confession. However, they were already not on good terms about church appointments.

St. John of Nepomuk is known as the patron saint of bridges. He is always depicted with five gold stars around his head.

The Czech Republic is landlocked. Even though political disaster is the greatest disaster in Prague, the greatest physical disaster is floods.

In 1348, Charles IV founded the Univertas Carolina. Each year 500,000 will apply. Everyone in the country applies. In order to be admitted, one must speak three languages and one of those languages must be Czech. Foreigners are exempt from this requirement.

Clementinum was dedicated to St. Clement in the 11th century. It has been a Dominican monastery, a Jesuit College and now houses the National Library of the Czech Republic.

One of the many buildings in the Clementinum.
We were not allowed inside but could only take a picture. Now THAT’S a library.
This is a illustration reproduction of a page from the most important and priceless book in the library. The book of 118 pages has stories from the gospel. Can you guess the stories?

Rob booked a tour to the Invisible Exhibition. We were intrigued. We learned for about an hour what it must be like to be blind.

As a group of eight, we entered a pitch dark room and were guided by the voice of a blind guide.

We had to determine which rooms we were in by the items we touched. We had to cross the street. At the end we had to order drinks and pay with coins. Upon graduating from this course, we could move on to diapering and ironing!!

This is our guide, Andre. His other job is Sound Engineer. He has been blind from birth. He can do most anything that a sighted person can do … except drive?!

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