Czechia is known for its amazing street art, especially for sculptures in Prague. Some of them call amusement, some are better not seen by children, meanwhile others are just funny. Nevertheless, in this article I tried to single out top 7 shocking or thought-provoking sculptures in Prague.
Top 7 Sculptures in Prague
Most of these pieces of art are situated in the centre of the city and today they have become in important part of cultural image of Prague. To learn more and to see with your own eyes the sculptures book Early Bird City Tour with local guide in Prague.
The fountain is located near the museum of Franz Kafka. The installation is made in a completely absurd style, like the works of the genius writer Franz Kafka. It represents two pissing men facing each other.
Interestingly, the middle part of the sculpture can turn from side to side. Thanks to this movement, the fountains draw various shapes on the water.
The author of this monument is the sculptor and artist David Cherny. Yes, he really created this rather unusual “monument” of men pissing on a map of the Czech Republic and at the same time “drawing” sayings of famous Prague people. Their height is 2 meters 10 centimeters. The principle of work of this hi-tech statue is quite simple. Parts of the body move because of electric motors installed inside and the computer which controls them.
Besides, every tourist can interact with the statue. To do this, you should send a SMS message on the number (+420 724 370 770). Write a text message in it and after receiving, the men will try to reproduce its content on water.
Yes, this is absolutely crazy. Nevertheless, it attracts crowds of curious tourists. The sculpture “Piss” provoked a criticism of the public, but received the same wide recognition and became among the brightest sculptures in Prague.
How to get
You can reach this place by metro (Malostranská station) or by tram No. 2, 12, 15, 18, 20, 22, 23, 41 to the Malostranská stop. Address: Cihelná 2b, Praha 1.
Memorial to the Victims of Communism
A memorial to the victims of communism was opened in Prague on May 22, 2002. This monument is filled with historical meaning, namely it recalls the victims of communist regime since 1948 and to 1989. The monument is located at the foot of Petrin Hill, on Újezd Street in Prague’s Little Town.
The work was done by Olbram Zoubrek and architects Jan Kerel and Zdeněk Holzel.
Seven bronze sculptures complete the memorial, while each following statue located further from you will look inferior. Such destruction is not the consequences of wear and tear, but the idea of architects and sculptors. It symbolizes the suffering of political prisoners from the communist regime.
In the center of the memorial there is a bronze inscription indicating the number of victims of communism:
- 205486 Arrested persons;
- 170938 deported;
- 4500 died in prison;
- 327 killed while trying to escape;
- 248 executed.
How to get
Use trams No. 6, 9, 12, 20, 22, 23 (night trams No. 57, 58, 59) to the “Ujezd” stop.
Crawling Babies on Zizkov TV tower
In 2000 citizens of Prague saw a sculptural composition of huge (about 3.5 meters long) faceless babies on Zizkov TV tower. They creep at high altitude down and up the walls of this building.
The appearance of these alien babies on a boring television tower has turned it into one of the most famous and popular objects of Prague.
Giant babies were conceived by David Cerny in 1994 when he lived in New York. Initially, the composition of sculptures was intended for the Museum of Modern Art in Chicago. But this museum could not find money for the installation, therefore for several years the figures wandered through a variety of exhibitions.
Babies on the Kampa Island
In 2008 near the museum of modern art on Kampa Island appeared three giant black babies with barcodes instead of faces. These bronze sculptures look like “their brothers” on Zizkov TV tower. The weight of each baby is 100 kg. The sculptural composition “Babies” enjoys great popularity among tourists – you can see some “polished” parts on them.
More information about their location here: Kampa Island.
These are also among the most significant sculptures in Prague. Moreover, their faces are really provoking and call thousands ideas.
Walking along Husova Street some tourists turn pale and call the police. They see a man hanging out on a steel pipe that protrudes from the roof of one of the houses! The first thing which comes to mind is whether it is a suicide or a man in trouble.
Well, this one is also a famous provocation made by David Cerny in 1997.
People find this man to be alike Vladimir Lenin. This provokes a political satire on the Communist regime. However, the sculptor himself claims that the figure represents the Austrian father of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud.
Grasped with one hand for the safety, the professor seemed to hang over the abyss of the Unconsciousness.
How to get
Go there by metro to the Můstek station. Or use tram No. 2, 17, 18 to the stop Karlovy lázně instead. Address: Betlémské náměstí 350/7, Praha 1.
Franz Kafka Monument
This is one of the Prague monuments to the outstanding writer of the 20th century. The monument to Franz Kafka is located near his birthplace. Jaroslav Rona’s creation is often included in the top ten most unusual monuments of the world. Kafka is sitting on the shoulders of an empty suit, isn’t it strange?
The biography says that Kafka was an eternal wanderer in his hometown. He wrote both in Czech and in German, since the Czech Republic was the part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Besides, he moved really often and did not receive recognition in life. That is why the monument includes a lot of points to dwell on.
Most noteworthy, that the author’s idea is not known for sure.
The statue can also be perceived as a call to rise above the pettiness and glaring. After all, people are often locked in their habits, like in a suit. But often this Prague’s sculpture refers to some works of Franz Kafka.
How to get
Going there by metro your stop is Staroměstská station. If you travel by tram, take No. 17 or 93 to the Právnická fakulta stop. Address: Dušní 12, Praha 1
Il Commendatore by Anna Chromy
The next exhibit in our list of top thought provoking statues in Prague is “Il Commendatore”. At the entrance to the ancient Prague Estates Theater you will meet an unusual gatekeeper. A strange figure sits on a pedestal wrapped in a cloak. But these are not tricks of street artists!
If you look closely, you will feel something scary while there is no one under the bronze folds of the cloak.
To find out who is it we need to remind that W.A. Mozart performed his opera Don Giovanni in this theatre. The premiere of the musical masterpiece took place in 1787 in this theater, and the author personally conducted the orchestra.
The sign under the sculpture explains: the statue depicts the ghost character Il Commendatore, the character of Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni. These days it is the only theater preserved in its original form, the walls of which saw the great Austrian composer.
Nevertheless, the author’s intention is much broader and not limited to the spirit of revenge. Anna Chromy has developed a whole concept of “Cloak of Conscience”.
The emptiness framed by the cloak is treated as the intangible traces remaining in our world after the departure of man. It can be love, creative heritage, vengefulness, resentment, etc.
The statue shows that such feelings do not exist materially. But their impulses continue to transform reality, giving it forms, like folds of cloth over the spiritual essence of the Commandatore.
How to get
Take trams No. 3, 5, 6, 9, 14, 24, 41 in the afternoon or 91, 92, 94, 95, 96, 98 at night to the Václavské náměstí stop. If you want to use metro, the station is called Můstek. Address: Ovocný trh 1, Praha 1
Swallow in Klementinum
One of the many complexes of old buildings in Prague, Klementinum houses one small but very interesting modern monument. The sculpture’s name is “Vlaštovka (Swallow)” by Magdalena Poplawska.
It has a rather simple but at the same time mysterious story. Once there was a students’ exhibition of Prague Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design. A young polish sculptor Magdalena Poplawska displayed her work as well.
After the exhibition all the participants took their works back, except the only one. The girl with a swallow stayed there. Finally, the statue kept living in Klementinum. Now you can see it on the outer cornice of the Hall of Services of the National Library.
Tourists are turning pale with fear as they think it’s a real child sitting on the high ledge. When someone looks at the girl sitting on the roof he often confuses the figure with a real child. You can hear exclamations about how the child could get to such a height.
No one did understand what kind of figure the child keeps. Until now, everyone calls it differently: an airplane, a swallow or a crane. Later, the local residents of Prague decided and affectionately called the sculpture “Swallow”.
All in all, you can only wonder about why it has been left there and the idea. That is why it is in our list of top 7 thought provoking sculptures in Prague.
Prague’s cultural life is really rich and it takes time to discover all its secrets. Besides, some interesting sculptures in Prague are not easy to find. We offer you Private Tours with Local Guide to get this unique experience.