Statuary of St. Francis Xavier - the fifth one on the left looking from the Old Town Bridge Tower
the fifth one on the left looking from the Old Town Bridge Tower
The statuary, made of sandstone from Hořice, was created by Ferdinand Maxmilián Brokof in 1711-12 and donated by the Theology and Philosophy Faculty of the Prague University. In the lower part of the statuary, there is a group of exotic princes (Chinese, Tatar, Moor and Hindu) baptized by St. Francis Xavier. In the upper part, there is the saint raising a cross in front of the kneeling Hindu prince with pages and reminding the prince about the importance of faith before his baptism. The Latin inscription says Donated by the Theology Faculty and the Philosophy Faculty of the Prague University in 1711 in memory of Francis Xavier from the Society of Jesus, an apostle of Hindus and Japanese and a beloved of God. The composition and make of the statuary is one of the best on the bridge and is considered one of the best statues of the sculptor, even though he was only 23 years old when he created it. The face of the boy below the saint’s hand with a cross is actually the face of the young sculptor. During the big flood in 1890, the original statuary fell into the Vltava River and was retrieved piece by piece during 1892 – 1904; it is now in the Lapidarium of the National Museum. The statuary on the bridge is a copy made by Čeněk Vosmík (1860–1944) in 1913.