January 29, 2009
The tale of Bruncvík was one of my favourite ones, when I was a young girl. It had all the elements that appealed to my then naive, romantic mindset.
Bruncvík was an adventurous, passionate Prince, who left his young wife in Prague and embarked on travels of the world. He can be perceived as the Slavic Odysseus, as his journey took him away from his home for almost a decade, while he crossed exotic lands and foreign oceans. His experiences are countless and amazing, anything from surviving raging storms and being shipwrecked to fighting monsters with his magic sword, side by side of a mighty lion, who later became his life long friend and companion.
Eventually, Bruncvík returned home, filled with satisfaction, carrying unique, unbelievable memories. He won back the love of his wife, who was to marry another, believing him dead and lived happily until old age, with the lion, his friend, by his side.
The legend states, that his magic sword disappeared with him. It is believed, that it lays buried in the structure of the Charles Bridge. Once the Czech nation is in great need, St Wenceslaus will rise from the dead, draw Bruncvík's sword and summon the Knights of Blaník, to lead the Czechs to victory. This legend shows striking similarities with the famous tale of Excalibur.
I was completely enthralled by the story of Prince Bruncvík, when I became familiar with his legend after reading a book during my childhood stays in Prague. The depiction of him fueled my romantic fantasies. I often visited his statue during that time, one which to this day can be seen on the side of Charles Bridge. It depicts the young Knight with his magic, golden sword, his shield and his loyal friend, the Lion.
Even today, a visit to Prague is never complete, unless I walk down the bridge, close to sunset and gaze upon the eternally young face of Prince Bruncvík.