The dog shines on the sculpture
It’s no wonder that there are memorials and statues honoring person’s closest mate because everyone likes a good dog. There is a well-known monument of a dog called the Hachik in Japan, but there is another, perhaps less well-known dog in another area of the globe. One particular, famous dog is shown in a metal sculpture on the base of a monument of Saint John of Nepomuk that frequently draws the attention of travelers strolling over the famed historic Charles Bridge in Prague. A warrior with his devoted hound in the foreground of this relief sculpture. The dog is so adored by onlookers that it has developed a golden glow from being petted so frequently. So what is the background to this endearing custom? To discover the history of this footbridge and the monk, we must first go backwards to Prague in the fourteenth century.
Charles Bridge and Saint John of Nepomuk legend
In Prague, Czech Republic, the Charles Bridge spans the Vltava (Moldau) River in a vault. Between 1357 and 1402, a stone bridge of the Middle Ages was built. King Charles IV of Bohemia, who later assumed the title of Holy Roman Emperor, gave the order for its construction. The construction work was later finished by his son, King Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia. The magnificent footbridge is still standing today and is embellished with sculptures that were erected in the 17th and 18th centuries. Due to its location on an outstanding walkway connecting Old Town with the Prague Castle, visitors throng there in droves.
One of these sculptures, a metal from 1683, is the oldest. A statue of Saint John of Nepomuk, a historic Roman Catholic saint, is perched atop a plinth. The pastor’s average lifespan, which roughly corresponded with the building of the bridge, was from about 1345 until 1393. John of Nepomuk, as according his hagiography (the life of a saint), served as the Queen of Bohemia’s spiritual director.
Poor John’s status was his demise. Saint John of Nepomuk refused to disclose the details of his wife’s confession when the enraged and envious king demanded to know. In retaliation, the king—likely Wenceslaus IV—threw the obstinate clergyman into the Vltava River to perish. The 18th century saw John of Nepomuk’s beatification and canonization, but it appears that he was already regarded as a martyr for the hallowed secret of the confessional. He also gained acclaim as a representation of the church’s stand against absolute monarchy state intrusion.
John of Nepomuk was honored on the Charles Bridge before he was declared a saint. His sculpture is decorated with a crucifix, a palm (a representation of martyrdom), and a five-star crown. Medals plates, aged and exposed to the elements, are placed beneath his statue. One shows the site of his martyrdom. According to tradition, it’s lucky to touch the priest who is falling or the queen who is standing on the bridge. The other committee’s widely shown dog is similarly polished to a golden shine, just like these two locations.
The Dog and the Knight
It is not quite apparent why the dog is shown in the panel with a warrior and a canine companion because the priest’s life does not contain any references to “good lads.” The knight and dog, according to specialists on the bridge’s tales, may stand for fidelity and responsibility, values that the priest once upheld toward his congregation and the cathedral. Strangely, the dog is the only pet that does not appear to be glowing golden in ancient images. Notwithstanding the monument’s antiquity, this shows that stroking is a 20th-century invention.