This year, the summer solstice is June 21. To see the bridge and Castle alignment, you need to be at the base of the Old Town Bridge Tower at about 8 pm to see the sun approach the Castle towers. The show is over by 8:35. The official sunset time is quite a bit later, but the Castle is on a hill.
Once a year, on the summer solstice, Saint Vitus’ Cathedral, built over and retaining the ancient alignment of the original pagan and early Christian sacred locations, becomes the backdrop to one of the most amazing, and mysterious light shows in Europe.
As the sun sets during the solstice, the rays illuminate behind the roof of the castle, creating a specular view of falling and emanating lights. Some believe that Emperor Charles IV and Emperor Rudolf II, whom were both drawn to astrology, considered this when assisting in the design of the castle. Whether or their astrological acumen is legend or purely coincidence, there certainly is a sort of magic in the sunset.
As a prelude to this spectacular Gothic astro-urban light show, at noon on the solstice an even more amazing event, of deep alchemical significance happens on the front, or east, side of the Bridge Tower. Just at noon, the shadow of the base of the lion touches the shield of the eagle, uniting the principles in a display of profound significance.
Photo: Nadšený fotograf David