March 20: The Day of the Vltava is Back in Prague

After two years of covid measures, the Vševltavsky Association will organize the “Day of Vltava river” again, on Sunday, March 20, 2022.

Traditionally, Vltava Day is held on the first spring days as a symbolic opening of the boat season on the Vltava River.

You will be able to ride free of charge on river ferries, classic motorboats, a real Venetian gondola and a historical sailing boat.

Guests can also enjoy a rich accompanying program with live performances and various entertaining and educational thematic events.

The Vltava Day takes place along the entire length of the river, not only in Prague and its immediate surroundings.

The opening of the sailing season will again offer cruises for Prague residents, tourists and non-resident passengers for free.

Find the program here

Historic background

On March 20, 1393, considered the first martyr of the Seal of the Confessional, St. John of Nepomuk was tortured and thrown into the river Vltava from Charles Bridge in Prague, by order of King Wenceslaus IV.

A brass cross, worn smooth and shiny by the innumerable hands of wish-makers, is positioned around the middle of the iconic Charles Bridge, which spans the mighty Vltava river in Prague.

The killing of John of Nepomuk, who was vicar general for the Archbishop of Prague, is a dark chapter in the history of the bridge.

The travesty unfolded during the reign of King Wenceslas IV and the Great Schism of 1378 – a split within the Catholic Church which saw two rival Popes, one in Rome and the other in Avignon, France. Wenceslas backed the Avignon-based Pontiff and John remained loyal to Rome.

Wenceslas ordered the torture and execution of the recalcitrant John. Not only that, but the king was said to have personally taken part in the punishment and was later depicted holding a flaming torch to John’s body.

Once the torture was concluded the king ordered John of Nepomuk to be put in chains, gagged with a piece of wood and thrown from the bridge into the Vltava to drown. The worn and shiny brass plaque is present at the very place where he was tossed into the river.

The Day of the Vltava 2022

The Day of the Vltava 2022


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