Sunday, January 18, 2009

Strokes of luck: 10 more monuments people just HAVE to touch

Some of these were suggested by readers of our previous post, 10 unusual monuments to rub, kiss or pat for good luck. Many thanks!

Let's face it, when people travel a long way to see a monument, sometimes looking just isn't enough. Sometimes they want — no, need — to touch! Here are 10 monuments that fill that need.

1. Stephen Foster Sculpture
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

At least since the American Civil Rights Movement, this statue of a white man and slave has periodically stirred public debate. Some claim that it's racist, others claim that Uncle Ned, the song whose composition is depicted, is actually one of the first anti-slavery songs.

Controversial or not, many people believe that rubbing Ned's big toe will bring good luck.

Stephen Foster Sculpture

Stephen Foster Sculpture

2. Casa di Giulietta
Verona, Italy

In Verona, Italy, a house claiming to be the Capulets' house from Romeo and Juliet has been turned into a tourist attraction. It features the balcony and, in the small courtyard, a bronze statue of Juliet baring her breast.

Legend has it that if a person strokes the breast of the statue, that person will have good fortune.

Casa di Giulietta
(image credit: Martha de Jong-Lantink)

Casa di Giulietta
(image credit: HenkLiu)

3. St. John of Nepomuk
Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic

The most popular statue on the Charles Bridge in Prague is probably the one of St. John of Nepomuk, a Czech martyr saint who was executed by being thrown into the Vltava from the bridge. The base portrays scenes from the life of St. John, including his death.

The plaque has been polished to a shine by countless people caressing it over the centuries, which is supposed to bring good luck and ensure a person's return to Prague.

St. John of Nepomuk
(image credit: julie3jax)

St. John of Nepomuk
(image credit: bobbymond)

4. Everard 't Serclaes
Brussels, Belgium

It is said among locals that the statue of Everard 't Serclaes brings luck and grants the wishes of all who touch it. Serclaes' arm and the dog's nose are supposed to be especially lucky. Other parts are also stroked frequently, such as the face of an angel and one of the shields.

Everard 't Serclaes
(image credit: TalkingTree)

Everard 't Serclaes
(image credit: kool_skatkat)

5. Winged Figures of the Republic,
Hoover Dam, Nevada, United States

On the Nevada side of Hoover Dam is a 142-foot flagpole flanked by two 32-foot high statues, called the Winged Figures of the Republic. They express "the immutable calm of intellectual resolution, and the enormous power of trained physical strength, equally enthroned in placid triumph of scientific accomplishment."

Local folklore says that rubbing their feet will bring good luck.

Winged Figures of the Republic
(image credit: thisisbossi)

Winged Figures of the Republic
(image credit: gogoninja)

6. Lion Statues,
The Residenz, Munich, Germany

The Residenz is the former royal palace of the Bavarian monarchs and serves today as one of the finest room decoration museums in Europe.

Stroke the noses of the lions outside the Odeanplatz entrance for luck as you pass, but just touch one ... or the luck is cancelled out!

(image credit: Robert in Toronto)

(image credit: caruba)

7. Wall Street Bull
New York City, United States

The Charging Bull, or Wall Street Bull as it is more commonly known, is one of the symbols of the financial district in Manhattan. The famous 7,000 pound bronze statue was created by Arturo Di Modica and installed near Wall Street to "bring bulls back to Wall Street" after the 1987 stock market crash.

The bull sculpture is said to bring luck to traders and stockbrokers (and tourists!) if they rub its testicles.

Wall Street Bull
(image credit: babblingdweeb)

Wall Street Bull
(image credit: zell0ss)

8. Schöne Brunnen Fountain
Nuremberg, Germany

Doubtless, the main attraction of the "Beautiful Fountain" is the shimmering golden ring, or Glücksbringer, set into one of the ornate railings which surround the fountain.

Turn the ring three times and your wishes will come true!

Schöne Brunnen
(image credit: bill barber)

Schöne Brunnen
(image credit: bill barber)

Schöne Brunnen

9. Moses Maimonides
Cordova, Spain

Moses Maimonides was a rabbi, physician, and philosopher during the Middle Ages. The statue of him was erected next to a synagogue in Córdoba.

Rubbing Moses Maimonides’ foot is supposed to bring good luck.

Moses Maimonides
(image credit: captainmnb)

Moses Maimonides
(image credit: Erin)

10. Laughing Buddha,
Feilai Feng, Linyin Temple, Hangzhou, China

On the way to and from the Lingyin Temple, visitors pass the grotto carvings on "Peak that Flew from Afar". The Laughing Buddha is one of the most famous of the statues carved into the rock.

According to legend, if one rubs the Buddha's great belly, it brings forth wealth, good luck, and prosperity.

Feilai Feng (Peak that Flew from Afar)
(image credit: emdurso)

Laughing Buddha
(image credit: gLo's VancouverBlueEyedGuero)

Previously on Lists Galore!
10 unusual monuments to rub, kiss or pat for good luck
10 of the most extraordinary places to take a bath
10 of the best places in the world to stargaze


bonnie said...

The University of Maryland has a big turtle that everybody rubs and kisses. I'll bet most universities have a mascot that students worship.

Rob said...

Dunno if it exactly qualifies as a "monument," but the Blarney Stone in Ireland has certainly been kissed and touched by lots of folks - me included!

Anonymous said...

You seem to have missed the liberty bell, I remembered a news story in the UK in the 70s about the amount of people touching it causing erosion, when I actually visited it in 1993 I asked if I could stroke the crack and was told "we don't encourage it" so as I was not told not to I did (so did all the other people in earshot)...

Anonymous said...

There's a statue of a boar in Sydney near the old Parliament House - you rub it's nose and it brings good luck. I rub it every time I pass (nothing's happened yet).

Camera Obscura said...

The nose of the bust of Lincoln at his tomb is constantly rubbed.

And the statue of "Phil" the gorilla outside the ape section of the St. Louis Zoo has a shiny back because people set their children on him to take photos.

Anonymous said...

The John Harvard statue in Harvard Yard! He has a *very* shiny shoe.

Anonymous said...

Timothy Eaton statue in Winnipeg, Canada. Rubbing the toe was to bring good luck. The statue sat in the main Eaton's store in downtown for decades. Since the closing of Eaton's, the statue is rarely on display. It's really good luck to find it and rub the toe.

Andi said...

I miss Eaton's. I liked going to the downtown Calgary store for lunch.

I had no idea the statue in the Winnipeg store had a lucky toe -- thanks for sharing!

Top 10 Things said...

lol gotta love the bull one, who wouldnt want to touch that.

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