13 December 2013

The Charles Bridge

Since Amadeus many movies have filmed in the Czech Republic and Prague. A lot of them, including one of my favorites, Tarsem's The Fall, have featured one of Prague's most famous landmarks, The Charles Bridge.

Prague is for falling in love, they say, and like many cities in Europe you can find tokens of this in the form of padlocks people hang on fences as a promise of that love. The fence running along the Vltava at the entrance to the Charles Bridge bears the proof.

The Charles Bridge & Prague Castle

Tower at the Staro Mesto side bridge entrance
During the day the bridge teems with people selling their art, enjoying the view, or just trying to get someone. I wanted to try getting some pictures of the bridge with as few people as possible and figured early morning was the best time to try. I left the hotel, about a 10 minute walk from the bridge, just as dawn was lighting the sky. And realized that I should have left earlier! At least the bridge was still emptier than it is during full day.

Walking to the bridge in the morning while most sane people were still warm and in bed, Prague seemed so quiet. And empty. It wasn't just the emptiness of having so few people about, it was something else. Something I felt like the city was missing. Then I realized; no cats! There were no stray cats anywhere that I could see! The cats in Istanbul are almost as numerous as the people and you don't go a day, or a time of the day, without seeing one.

It's easy to see, especially in the gentle light of dawn, how this is a city for lovers! And why so many people try to photograph the bridge. I have to say that I bought a couple prints from the vendors who set up on it because I have neither the equipment nor, more importantly, really the talent to get 'the' shot of the Charles Bridge. Had fun trying though!

Really wish those custodians hadn't been around though.

According to our tour guide, the majority of statues, if not all of them, are copies. The originals are in museums. Full list of the statues can be found here. Unfortunately I cannot tell from the descriptions which statues I photographed. Some are pretty obvious but others are a little trickier.

Saint (?) Christopher

St. John Nepomuk

Saint Philip Benitius (I think)

Saints John of Matha, Felix of Valois, & Ivo. Maybe

Saint Joseph leading a young Jesus

Lamentation of Christ

The Crucifixion and Calvary

Possibly the Madonna attending to St. Bernard

Saints Barbara, Margret, & Elizabeth

The Charles Bridge alone would bring me back to Prague. Albeit with a new camera lens or two, a tripod, and much much earlier in the morning. But I would happily drag all that with me to spend more time in one of the most romantic spots I've ever visited.

My favorite shot.

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