Wroclaw

John of Nepomuk

  Plac Kościelny ,   Ostrów Tumski         more than a year ago
Good old John of Nepomuk can be found everywhere throughout what was once Bohemia, and - as a saint credited with protecting against floods - was indispensable in a city with as many waterways as Wrocław. Born in the 14th century in Pomuk (later renamed Nepomuk), John was a Christian presbyter and confessor of Queen Sophia of Bavaria. As it turns out, listening to royals' confessions can be dangerous work, and the poor martyr met a grisly end in the Vltava River after refusing to divulge the queen's secrets to her husband, Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia. This statue on Ostrów Tumski was crafted in 1730-1732 by Bohemian-German sculptor Johann Georg Urbansky based on a design by Christoph Tausch. A closer look will reveal that two of the cherubs adorning the figure are bald rather than having a full head of (presumably golden) curls; according to legend, Urbansky's assistant, who was tasked with sculpting the last few cherub heads, decided to celebrate his hairless newborn son by sculpting the baby's likeness among the flock of angels. This was initially met with fury by his boss, but after viewing the adorable real-life baby boy, Urbansky's heart quickly softened and he decided to give a second cherub a buzz cut for better symmetry.

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