Photographer's Note

This cross, decorated in (among other things) gilt writing in Hebrew, is one of the many statues/monuments on the Charles Bridge in Prague. Charles Bridge dates from around 1400, and until the mid 19th century was the only bridge across the Vltava in Prague. Many of the statues are in various states of disrepair, although there is apparently an effort going on to refurbish some of them. This one, however, was in great shape.

Of the Hebrew text, Wikipedia says: The golden Hebrew text on the crucifix was added in 1696. It was placed there as punishment for a Prague Jew, Eliass Backoffen, who had been convicted of debasing the Holy Cross by defecating next to it. The text is derived from the words of the prophet Isaiah and reads, in English, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts. These words, which are the origin of the Sanctus in the Mass, are an important confession of faith in the Jewish tradition as well; their placement in this context has been perceived by some as offensive. A bronze tablet with explanatory text in Czech, English and Hebrew was mounted under the statue by the City of Prague in 2000. The tablet's placement came after an American Rabbi, Ronald Brown of Temple Beth Am in Merrick, New York was passing over the bridge and noted the possibly offensive nature of the placing of the text. Upon a direct request to the mayor, the tablet was soon placed off to the side of the statue.

The building in the right background is the Rudolfinum, currently the home of the Czech Philharmonic; it dates from the late 19th century.

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: Roger Lipsett (rogerl) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 190 W: 0 N: 298] (1632)
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  • Date Taken: 2012-06-07
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  • Camera: Canon PowerShot G9
  • Exposure: f/4, 1/1250
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  • Date Submitted: 2013-02-26 15:05
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