The Luck Tour through Europe

What kind of traveler are you? Do you enjoy discovering things that are not in the ordinary guidebooks? If yes, then this post is for you!

While working on the Luck Project, I’ve been searching for LUCK and our everyday superstitions wherever I go. After short research, I made a list of “lucky places” – specifically speaking – places, where people go to make wishes or touch sculptures for good luck. There are more of these places than you would think. Although I do not quite believe these legends myself, I enjoy discovering these places and watching the behaviour of the modern “luck pilgrims”, that do come to touch and wish.

Here I introduce my top 5 destinations.

#1 Barcelona (Spain)

The mailbox turtle

Where: Case de l’Ardiaca (map)

Barcelona (2)

#2 Prague (Czech Republic)

St. John of Nepomuk

Where: Charles Bridge (click here)

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#3 Florence (Italy)

Porcellino

Where: The new market square (Piazza del Mercato Nuovo) (map)

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#4 Munich (Germany)

The Lion

Where: Munich Residenz (here)

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#5 Budapest (Hungary)

The sculpture of Andreas Hadik

Where: Buda Castle (map)

Budapest from Mariam3

If you wish to find out more, click here for a comprehensive and regularly updated “travel guide”, that includes the legends and more information on what type of luck each sculpture grants.

Even if you are not superstitious at all, visit these places, it is fun just to watch, what we are – as human beings in the 21st century – able to do to for a little bit of luck. 😉

And if you touched, wished or took a good picture, please get in touch! I am always happy to hear about your experiences.

 

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Exporting Luck

Did you know that it is possible to export luck? Well, believe or not, the Czech cultural minister did just that. During the Expo in Shanghai in 2010, the Czech Republic exhibited LUCK – more precisely, the “provider” of luck, the relief of St. John of Nepomuk. It is one of the most famous sculptures in Europe for bringing luck or granting wishes when touched. The exported relief is normally a permanent part of a bigger sculptural complex on the Charles Bridge in Prague. For the duration of the Expo, was it simply detached and replaced with a copy. According to the Czech press, was the Expo exhibit a success, visited and touched by thousands of visitors.

The moment when the relief has been taken off…

Sundavani nepomuka

Funny enough, not even this relief is the original! The one made by Jan Brokof (1683)  is actually safely stored in the museum of Charles Bridge. If you go to see it, you will notice, that the little head of the poor Nepomuk is not as smoothed as the one that currently resides on the bridge.

Can you guess which of these spent more time on the bridge?

Do you believe that these public “luck bringers” work even if they are removed from their original location? It is usually the power of the legend that makes people believe (even halfheartedly), that it might work. But the legends are usually connected with the place as a well as with the object. At least the one about St. John of Nepomuk is. It has been said, that the poor John – the confessor of the queen Zofie – was punished for his refusal to reveal the contents of the queen’s confessions to the King Wenceslas IV.  For his insolence, he was thrown into the river from the Charles Bridge. The legend has it, that the actual spot on the bridge has been marked with a double cross in the bridge side. The historical truth lies somewhere else. It is more likely that John’s unclear dealings between two enemies (the king and the bishop) brought him eventually the highest punishment.

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In theory, if the potentially innocent confessor John really has the powers to bring luck, we should only touch the cross in the  side of the bridge, right? We used to touch it (more than 20 years ago). Back then, there was no “floating” John relief above it, nor was  there the legend about touching the relief on the big Nepomuk sculpture. But that is something, what the Czech cultural minister did not bother investigating.

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So, is it possible to export Luck???  What do you think?