How these lucky places can make your wishes come true

Seven lucky landmarks in Europe…

Shooting stars, wood knocks, horseshoes, wishing wells, finger crossings, wishbones, tooth fairies…everyone can count at least one happy, hope-inducing, harmless superstition that they have always believed in. The fascination for lucky charms is eternal and crowds will continue to gather at places where wishes are said to come true. So, queue up and call out to good fortune at these seven marked spots…whether for faith or for fun. Who knows, you may just strike gold, lucky devil!

All about ‘toeing the line’

Set the stage for magic: Split, second-largest city of Croatia, sitting on the edge of the dazzling Dalmatian Coast beside sparkling sapphire waters of the Adriatic Sea. Known best for its 1700 year-old UNESCO-protected ancient walled city. Sports the 7-acre retirement home of Roman emperor Diocletian.
Spot to be spotted at: Gregory of Nin statue (Grgur Ninski), located near the Old Town’s Golden Gate.
Of legacies and legend: Gregory of Nin was a bishop in the medieval Croatian capital of Nin. Historical protector of Croatian culture, language, and statehood. His oversized bronze statue, a 1929 creation of Croatian artist, Ivan Meštrović, towers to 28 feet (8.5 meters) in height.
Keeping the faith: Indulge in rubbing his shiny big toe…its easy to recognise by its golden color. Locals will vouch for his powers. 

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Get a charming headstart

Set the stage for magic: Dubrovnik, Croatia. dubbed ‘Pearl of the Adriatic. Claim to fame? A quintessential Wall Walk and of course, the epic Game of Thrones filming locations.
Spot to be spotted at: The Franciscan monastery, on Stradun, the main street on the left side, near the Pile Gate entrance to the Old Town.
Of legacies and legend: People crowd near the head of a small stone gargoyle ledge, fixed about half a meter above the ground and sticking out barely fifteen centimetres from a wall. It seems like the mouth of a rainwater drain, and even has a name…Maskeron. Its top surface is smooth and polished like marble from years of thousands of steps and the wall above is greasy from the touch of a thousand hands.
Keeping the faith: The legend is that if you balance on the ledge, stand facing the wall, you will find true love. Definitely worth trying.



Win by a nose

Set the stage for magic: Enigmatic capital of Italy’s Tuscany region, Florence. Considered the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, overflowing with all rings arty.
Spot to be spotted at: The Mercato Nuovo (Straw Market) covered by a Renaissance loggia in the historic center, a two-minute walk from Duomo.
Of legacies and legend: Il Porcellino is a bronze fountain decoration created by Baroque-era bronze master Pietro Tacca. This one is a replica of the original sculpted to adorn a fountain in Italy’s famed Boboli Gardens.
Keeping the faith: Slip a coin into the boar’s jaws and rub the shiny golden snout for for good luck.


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Other side of the coin

Set the stage for magic: Rome, the eternal city and capital of Italy, dripping with history, ancient artefacts and some of the world’s most recognised monuments, including the Colosseum and Pantheon.
Spot to be spotted at: Trevis square in the Quirinale district of Rome, less than 10 minutes from the Spanish Steps.
Of legacies and legend: At 85 feet high and 65 feet wide, Trevis takes the cake as the biggest and most elaborate fountain in the city. Created by several designers including famed sculptor Bernini. Roughly €3,000 coins are thrown into the fountain pool every day. All proceeds towards charity and upkeep.
Keeping the faith: With your back to the fountain, throw a coin into the Trevi with your right hand over your left shoulder. Second trip to Rome guaranteed.



A shoulder to cry on

Set the stage for magic: Timeless city of Istanbul, Turkey on the striking blue Bosphorus Strait, straddling the two continents of Asia and Europe. Identified by its spectacular skyline of cascading grey-blue domes and pencil-thin minarets of nearly 3,000 mosques.
Spot to be spotted at: The Hagia Sophia at Sultanhamet has a column close to the northwest exit of the nave, which attracts visitors for a strange reason.
Of legacies and legend: The column is known as the “wishing column” or the “weeping column” is always damp to the touch. It is said to be crying because of a sultan’s pity. There’s a healing hole on the column.
Keeping the faith: Stick a thumb into the hole and attempt to rotate the finger in a perfect circle. If the thumb gets wet, your wish will be granted.

Hagia Sophia_Istanbul_Turkey.jpg

Weeping wall_Hagia Sophia_Istanbul_Turkey.jpg

Thank your lucky stars

Set the stage for magic: Mother of all cities, Prague, Czech Republic. Home to a hundred spires and the iconic Charles Bridge, lined with statues of Jesus, the Holy Family, and other saints.
Spot to be spotted at: St John of Nepomuk memorial plaque in the middle of the Charles Bridge.
Of legacies and legend: A cross engraved on the bridge wall marks the spot from where Saint John was said to be thrown off. A wrought-iron grille plaque depicts Saint John resting at the bottom of the Vltava river. The statue has a halo with five stars, representing five bright stars that appeared in the sky above him when he died.
Keeping the faith: Using all fingers of your left hand, touch the image of St. John of Nepomuk on the grille, who is depicted lying down. Your wish will be granted.

Charles Bridge_Prague_Czech Republic.jpg

St John Nepomuk Statue_Charles Bridge_Prague_Czech Republic.jpg

Its ok to point a finger

Set the stage for magic: Germany’s best preserved medieval walled town, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, on the popular Romantic Road route, epitome of German romanticism. Known most by a certain instagrammable location: Gerlachschmiede, the pretty gabled house on a forked street.
Spot to be spotted at: 14th-century St.James Church, 3-minute walk from the central market square, Marktplatz.
Of legacies and legend: A statue of St. Jacob statue outside the church building depicts one of the twelve original apostles, James, official saint of the town. James has an extended left index finger, glowing golden from a million touches.
Keeping the faith: Pull the index finger to ensure good luck and protection.

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Have you been to a place which has a lucky legend associated with it?


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36 thoughts on “How these lucky places can make your wishes come true

  1. What a fun post! I haven’t been to any of these places but I would pass the statue of Greyfriars Bobby daily when I studied in Edinburgh. The bronze statue is a monument to the faithful dog who guarded his master’s grave for 14 years before he died himself. It’s believed that if you rub his nose you will receive good luck.

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  2. Dam, I only done the pig! 😀 I havent seen the others whilst I been traveling around Europe, one day I may check them out. But the pig hasn’t made my wish come true yet. 😦

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  3. Fantastic post, we always need more luck in our lives and visiting these popular attractions is part of the fun and charm to doing these typical things in a visit.

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  4. What a good idea to group these lucky spots up in one post! I’ve been lucky enough to see the St John of Nepomuk memorial plaque in Prague, the boar in Florence, and Rome’s Trevi fountain! Looking forward to discovering the rest of these one day.

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  5. I had no idea of any of these. But it’s a great list of so many lucky spots whether it’s in Prague or Rome or Turkey. I would love to explore each of these places as well. You have got my attention.

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  6. This is great to see so many places dubbed as “giving good luck” in Europe. While I find the legends and stories fascinating, the idea of luck coming from rubbing or touching something is something I don’t believe in 🙂 What’s your personal point of view on this?

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  7. We must have missed the statue of Gregory of Nin when we visited Split. I am sure I would have rubbed his toe for good luck. And we missed Il Porcellino in Florence too. It would be worth a coin to get some good luck from the boar. Good thing we have tossed so many coins into the Trevi Fountain that we are guaranteed to get a return visit to Italy and be able to return to Florence!

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  8. I guess not. I mean, I have been to Rothenburg, but didn’t know about the statue there. Of course, I don’t really put any stock into receiving good luck from touching something, but the traditions are harmless enough!

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  9. I love this post!!! I have only done the Trevi Fountain and Il Porcellino. But I’m going to Prague this Fall and will hit up that one too.

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  10. I love this post! Great pacing and story idea. I especially love the juxtaposition of an Indian writer coming to Europe and talking about luck rituals. So often, it’s the Europeans travelling east to observe unusual customs. I’ve met three types of people: those who pray to only their god, those who pray to no gods, and those who pray to all gods they meet. It’s so much more inclusive to share the rituals as you travel.

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    1. Thanks a ton, Jenn and Ed! Interestingly, the more one travels, the more one realizes that human nature is the same, irrespective of boundaries and geographies. This post is just an example of that. 🙂


  11. India, of course, has countless such places, but Europe too seems to have its share. The myths of luck associated with these places no doubt lend them an intriguing aura. Have visited only the Trevis fountain and watched people tossing a coin. We didn’t though, just took some pictures!

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  12. Yes, I have and it was a big toe but it was inside a cathedral and I can’t exactly remember where right off. I want to say Italy though. I definitely want to see the wishing column at the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul and the Charles Bridge in Prague! Learning what draws visitors to certain attractions is always so interesting to me!

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  13. What a fun post! A little luck and wishing can always go a long way in life! I like finding the writers’ grave/statues and touching their hand for good luck in writing! Will have to visit these 7 places!

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  14. I always thought such places only existed in India! Lol! But I forget that humans can go to any lengths, anywhere to make their wish come true. I didn’t know so many places existed in the world. Worth trying some of them!

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  15. In Bremen are the Bremen Town Musicians, in Riga there is also a statue of it. Here rubbing certain places brings luck. In Brastislava, a man looks out of a gulli. Rubbing one’s head brings luck. In Hamburg, it is the “lemon Jette” and her lucky finger that you should touch. I think everywhere in the world you can find such funny statues.

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  16. I love this idea for a post! Did you know you wanted to write it and then visited the various places with that in mind, or had you visited them all and then decided to compile them into this post? It’s so interesting to see how the idea of good luck differs from culture to culture. I had no idea that the fountain in Rome was a good luck charm, and I’m glad that all the money they collect goes towards charity and upkeep. I think rubbing the toe of the Gregory of Nin statue is the most fun one on the list. If I find myself in any of these cities, I’ll be sure to go seek out the statues and monuments on this list!

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