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legends Tag

The city's only nosferatu , Dopiječ, unlives in a borrowed grave in Olšany Cemetery Prague surprisingly has few tales of vampires before modern times. Many films, novels, and computer games mention Prague as a nexus of vampire activity, but the actual legends are a bit scarce. And even though some apparent vampire graves have

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Petting the bronze dog on Charles Bridge is a more recent tradition than many people think.

Practically every tourist who crosses Charles Bridge in Prague touches one of three places on the base of the statue of St John Nepomuk, or a five-starred double cross a little further down embedded in the bridge’s stone railing.

Legend has it St John (Jan Nepomucký) was thrown off the bridge by King Wenceslas IV for refusing to divulge the secrets of the queen’s confession. The dispute may also have involved the church’s right to appoint bishops without state approval.

dog card

There has always been a good deal of confusion about the legend. Two Bohemian clerics named Jan may have gotten their life stories hopelessly entangled. And the date of his death is either 1383 or 1393. The change in date would also change which queen was being protected. Queen Johanna of Bavaria was alive on the former date, and Queen Sofia of Bavaria on the latter.

One statues is not what it seems, according to a popular legend.

Most old churches have some stone decorations on the roof, and the overwhelming majority are just fanciful sculptures of angels and saints. There is an exception near Národní třída, in a church that’s fairly hidden on a side street.

The Church of St. Martin in the Wall (kostel svatého Martina ve zdi), at Martinská 8 in Prague’s Old Town, has an odd sculpture of a stone boy using two fingers to pull his lips and make a taunting face. The church is otherwise fairly unadorned both inside and out, save for the boy and on another eave of the roof an owl.

st martins owl

A stone owl is also on the church roof.

The boy, however, according to a widespread legend, is not a sculpture. It is a real naughty boy who was turned to stone.