Summer Solstice in Prague: A Story In Photos

Once upon a time…

Dave and I moved to Prague and decided to celebrate the summer solstice by joining a slew of other revelers on the Charles Bridge. On the summer solstice, the sun sets almost directly on Prague Castle. It seems to touch the main tower of St. Vitus Cathedral, then it lights up the chamber which houses the crown jewels and continues past the altar bell tower to set behind the roof. Just when it seems the light show is over, the sun reappears and sets again on the roof of the nearby All Saints Church.

Some people believe that the alignment of the buildings that creates this spectacular light show is intentional. It’s well-established that Emperor Charles IV, the ruler who built both St. Vitus Cathedral and the Charles Bridge, was super into numerology and astrology. According to legend, when construction on the Charles Bridge was to begin, astrologers were consulted and chose July 9, 1357 at 5:31 a.m. to start the build because that date and time form a numerical palindrome: 1 3 5 7 9 7 5 3 1. (The year 1357, the 9th day of the 7th month, at 5:31.)

I like to think Charles IV knew exactly what he was doing and on some summer solstice in the 14th century, he stood in the exact spot where Dave and I did, gazing at the Castle and marveling at the splendor.

After the magical light show, we wandered back home along the Vltava River and were shocked by what we saw: a giant squid!

It seemed to be considering whether or not to attack.

Luckily, we were safely on shore and escaped without incident.

The end.

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