Friday Afternoon – Petrin Hill and Charles Bridge

After our slap up lunch at Pivnice U Pivrnce we decided to go and have a look at Petrin Hill. Despite this being my third trip to Prague , Petrin Hill was something new for me and I was quite looking forward to getting a bird’s eye view of the city from its heights.

Pleasure cruiser passes under Charles Bridge on the Vltava

Crossing over the Vltava we soon found ourselves at the funicular station, turning out our pockets to find the 26 crowns for the ticket machine. Mind you it was worth it  the view at the top was quite staggering

Prague from Petrin Hill

The Church of St Lawrence at the top of Petrin Hill was built over a pagan shrine in the 10th Century. The present onion domed edifice dates from the 18th Century and in the 1830s stations of the cross were added leading up to it.

Church of st Lawrence

Another feature of Petrin Hill is the Eiffelovka observation tower built for the Jubilee Exposition of 1891. A quarter of the height of its Parisian inspiration we thought better of ascending  the 299 steps to the top.

Eiffelovka Tower

Curiosity satisfied it was back to the funicular for the journey back down.

The trip down Petrin Hill

From there we headed for the famous 600 year old Charles Bridge, to get back to the Old Town for the evening.  Dodging the various stall holders, buskers and cartoonists, we took in some of the 30 odd statues and reliefs of saints installed from 1683, to encourage the people back to Mass after Prague’s unsuccessful attempt at the Reformation.

St John of Nepomuk, he's the one being tipped over the bridge

Apparently rubbing this relief of st John of Nepomuk diving into the river is supposed to bring good luck. According to the legend Nepomuk was drowned in the river at the bequest of good King Wenceslas in 1393 for refusing to reveal the secrets of the Empress’s confession. Truth was that he was already dead when his body was tipped over the previous bridge.

As Nepomuk’s luck had quite clearly run out when his corpse was dumped in the Vltava, I stuck with the new tradition of rubbing the dog on the relief nearby.

Rubbing the dog, Charles Bridge

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