Midsummer Night Navalis

01.05.10 20:39

One of the most spectacular festival in Prague is organized in honor of St. John of Nepomuk. Gondolas from Venice flowing on the river Vltava, firework, historical markets, classical music and taking honor to the saint are characterizing this festival. This event is officially opened by a holly mass in the St. Vitus Cathedral and ends with a spectacular firework. The visitors can admire this view from the Charles Bridge. The guests with their own boats have an extraordinary opportunity to be an active member of that night. They just have to light up their lampions aboard the boat. This festival has a really young tradition in Prague. After a long time the first celebration was organized in 2009 for the Midsummer night with a great success.




Brief history of the Midsummer night Navalis

This festival was always held in honor of St. John of Nepomuk and was always visited not only by Prague citizens, but also by pilgrims from all around the world. Not everyone knows that the foundation stone of the National Theatre was established just a day after the Midsummer celebrations, when Prague was full of pilgrims and that unsured the rich participation of enquirers. Baroque Festival Navalis was held since 1715, fourteen years before the canonization of John and it soon became very popular among performers. In 1743 was also taking part the Empress Maria Theresa.< /br> After the Josephine reforms in the late 18th Century celebrations were stopped for some time. After this time, especially spectacular was Navalis in 1829, when the Czech nation was celebrating 100 year jubileum from the canonization of the saint.

Who is St. John of Nepomuk?

If you are just walking along the Charles Bridge you can find the sclupture of this national saint of Czech republic on the Nothern side of the bridge. And how to recognize which one is presenting the saint? There is a really simply answer. You just have to look for a five-star glory around his head and a crucifix or a palm list holding in his hand.

St Nepomuk


The palm list is commonly known as a symbol of victory but there is also a question about the five-star glory?

St. John of Nepomuk died in 1393 when he was thrown from the bridge to the river Vltava at the behest of Wenceslaus, King of the Romans and King of Bohemia.
According to one legend, on that night five stars appeared on the surface of the river. Due to these shining signs was found the body of the saint. The stars also symbolize the five wounds of Jesus Christ and five letters of the Latin word TACUI (I kept silence).

Program of the Midsummer Night Navalis 2010

  • Thursday, 13. 5. 2010


    20:00 h- Setting Gondolas out to the surface of the river Vltava
  • Friday, 14. 5. 2010
    11:00 - 18:00 h- Presentation of Gondolas on the river Vltava
  • Saturday, 15. 5. 2010
    12:00 - 15:00 h- Presentation of historical boats on the River Vltava
    18:00 h- Divine Service in St. Vitus Cathedral
    19:00 h- Procession with singing
    21:00 h- St. John Navalis at Charles Bridge
    22:00 h- Firework
    Whole Saturday– historical Markets on the square Krizovnicke
  • Sunday, 16. 5. 2010
    12:00 h- Barok concert in the Museum of Charles Bridge - group Ritornell

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