If in Prague you go down from the noisy tourist Charles Bridge to the left bank of the Vltava, then you will find yourself in a quiet, sleepy place – the island of Kampa. It is formed by the river itself and its bend – the small river Chertovka.
All kinds of evil spirits – ghosts, water ones – lived in this place from ancient times. One of these characters is the water Kaburek (Vodník Kabourek). True, once he was a respectable and absolutely earthly city dweller, who loved to skip a mug or two of beer. But one day he “went through” and, returning home from another feast, fell into Devil’s, drowned and reincarnated as a waterman.
But even after that, he retained both a good disposition and a love of beer. Already in a new incarnation, he continued to visit local pubs. And if Kaburek went to any institution, then it was a great honor for the owner – after all, he loves only good beer. For a special client, a vat of water was placed in the corner – the legs and skirts of the coat of the waterman should always be wet. And in his free time from beer trips, Kaburek collects the souls of drowned people in clay pots and puts them at the bottom.
Monument to the water man in Prague
But now the Prague merman is a rare guest in pubs. After all, now they have installed all sorts of music centers, radios and, which is really bad, televisions. And Kaburek does not like noise and fuss. So he walks around Kampe, begging passers-by for a bottle of beer, and in gratitude he gives them fresh fish.
Since 2010, thanks to the sculptor Josef Nálepa, Kaburek has been sitting pensively looking at the water and smoking his pipe, next to another Prague landmark – Velkoprzevorska, or the Devil’s Mill (Velkopřevorský mlýn). Its history dates back to the 13th century and deserves a separate story.
Near Kaburek, the Lovers’ Bridge is thrown over Chertovka. According to tradition, they hang all kinds of locks and padlocks on the railing of the bridge. Recently, there have been so many of them that the Prague water one can not be seen.
For some reason, water ones are not popular with sculptors. In addition to Prague, I know, perhaps, only one more – in Belarusian Soligorsk.