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Wayside shrine - John of Nepomuk

A statue of Saint John of Nepomuk has often been erected on bridges in many countries.

Hl. Johannes Nepomuk | © Helmut Innerbichler Hl. Johannes Nepomuk | © Helmut Innerbichler

John Nepomuk was a Bohemian priest and martyr who was thrown Vltava and drowned in Prague in 1393. Drowning was the usual death penalty for clergymen in the Middle Ages. According to legend, the body of the drowned man was surrounded by five flames or "brightly shining miraculous forms", which is why John Nepomuk is often depicted with a halo of five stars. According to another legend, the Vltava dried up and the body of the dead man could be retrieved.

The prototypical statue of John of Nepomuk at Charles Bridge in Prague, at the site where the saint was thrown into Vltava. Made by Jan Brokoff upon a model by Matthias Rauchmiller in 1683, on the supposed 300th anniversary of the saint's death, which was until the mid-18th century presumed to have happened in 1383. It was the basis for a number of statues of the saint all across the Europe.

The Inn Bridge was rebuilt at this location between 1845 and 1852, after the old wooden Inn Bridge had stood further up at the "Inntor". Master builder Michael Schweinester erected a wooden construction of the greatest engineering art. The two bridge piers and bridge heads were built of marble blocks from Kramsach by the tried and tested master builder Johann Wolf from Brixlegg. This bridge was inaugurated in 1852. For this purpose, the road had to be built in an arc past the monastery (today the school grounds) to the bridge. A life-size statue of St. Nepomuk, who was very popular as a bridge saint, already stood near the monastery. Translated with (free version)

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