Navalis takes place May 16
Celebration of St. John Nepomuk culminates with water concert and fireworks
A long time ago, there were regular public religious events in Prague, but the few that reached the 20th century ended in the communist era.
In recent years, a Baroque festival called Navalis, celebrating St. John Nepomuk (sv. Jan Nepomucký), has made a comeback.
St John is considered a martyr by the Roman Catholic Church, and his statue on Charles Bridge is a major tourist attraction. Similar statues can be found near many Czech waterways.
The main events of Navalis will take place this year on May 16, starting at 4 p.m. with horses at Hradčanské náměstí, in front of Prague Castle. At 6 p.m. there is a mass at St Vitus' Cathedral, followed by a procession with costumed and uniformed participants carrying some of relics and a statue down from Prague Castle to Charles Bridge.
On the river there is a boat regatta , skydivers and swimmers on the river once the procession reaches its climax.
Another brief mass takes place at St. Francis of Assisi Church on the Old Town side of Charles Bridge.
This is followed by a concert with the musicians on the river at 9:15 p.m, and eventually fireworks.
The concert this years features the world premiere of Kryštof Marek’s concerto for violin called the Mystery of St. John of Nepomuk, featuring violinist Gabriela Demeterová.
Events start even earlier, at 10 a.m. With another mass at St John of Nepomuk on the Rock, and there is a baroque festival at 1 p.m. at Křižovnické náměstí, next to Charles Bridge.
Space in the churches for the masses is of course limited, but the skydiving, regatta, concert and fireworks can be seen from the banks of the Vltava river.
This year there are also events on May 15, with a Venetian afternoon at Čertovka, a channel jutting off from the river. Venetian gondoliers will come to Prague to participate in that celebration.
Saint John of Nepomuk is the patron of bridges, communications, good reputation and all people of the water.
According to his legend, in 1393 he was drowned in the Vltava under the orders of King Wenceslas IV for protecting the secrets of the Queen's confession, although the dispute may also have involved who has the right to appoint bishops.
He is one of the most popular Czech saints, although he was not canonized until 1729, more than 300 years after his death.
For more information on Navalis, see www.navalis.cz
Video on YouTube
Dutchmen Klangstof for the first time in Prague by Fource - Prague.TV
1. 12. 17 @ Chapeau Rouge, Prague
SOHN is bringing his new album to Prague by Fource - Prague.TV
16. 11. 17 @ Palác Akropolis, Prague
DJ Shadow to come back to Prague by Fource - Prague.TV
20. 9. 17 @ Club Roxy, Prague
Why Czechs Burn Witches on April 30th (Čarodejnice) by Olena Kagui - Prague.TV
The tradition behind the night of bonfires and celebration
Chris Rea to play Prague's Congress Center by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
The 'Road to Hell' singer and guitarist is releasing a new album
What's Up Prague #19 Monday April 24th (Letná) by Prague.TV - Living Like a Local!
What's Up Prague: Every week, 5 events!
Karel Gott announces new concert by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: Karel Gott FB)
The Czech singer is returning to bigger stages after his illness
Queen + Adam Lambert coming to O2 Arena Prague by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: livenation)
Prague is the first stop on the European leg of the new tour
What's Up Prague #18 Monday April 17th (Malostranská) by Prague.TV - Living Like a Local!
What's Up Prague: 5 events for you this week
Stoners Red Fang are coming back to Prague by Fource - Prague.TV
19. 6. 17 @ Rock Café, Prague
Catsit.cz® provides cat sitting services in Prague. Other...
Become a Good Angel!
New shop open from Monday, March 27 - Dive with us into...
Glide through the enchanting streets of Prague on a unique...
Find other singles quickly and face to face
Music club in Prague 1. We celebrate life every day!
Eighties-inspired café-restaurant & music club
Discotheque, Cocktail Bar and Café Restaurant