Street art & Installations (Prague - Czechia)

Of our 3 days in Prague, we dedicated half a day for the street art and installations of Prague. Its just so splendid that I could have even dedicated more time, if I had had it! Here are some of the sculptures, street art & installations that I saw! (Btw, this made me realize that I have to do a similar post about Brussels!).
1. Lennon Wall: The wall actually belongs to Order of Malta. However the face of John Lennon was painted by an unknown person in 1980 when he was assassinated. Some other  people wrote some lyrics of The Beatles. In course of time, several people began writing their messages of love and peace and today even its surrounding door and trees are painted. Don't forget to carry some change for the musicians that play here and your marker to write your own message!

2. Otočná hlava Franze Kafky: I had seen a video of this statue long back and I didn't even remember this was in Prague. When listing out the places to see, I suddenly realized that this was in Prague! This is a kinetic sculpture by David Černý installed on Nov 2014. He's a super quirky, super modern Czech sculptor with his creations scattered all over Prague. This sculpture is made of 42 rotating steel panels depicting the Bohemian-German writer Franz Kafka.
3. Piss Sculpture: Again David Černý! The pelvis of these 2 guys are moving as they piss in semi circle shape. Mr.V's first reaction when we reached here was 'These guys are even moving! But there's no one here. Mannekin Pis is always so crowded' Yes, there was absolutely no one else. I did wonder about the random shape of the pool they were peeing into. Guess what? Its the shape of the map of Czechia! Btw, you can actually make these men piss-out, errrmm... I mean spell out letters by sending an SMS to the number mentioned beside them. SMS - that's an international roaming SMS if you don't have a local number! There should be a way to do this online. Even if its a small online paid service, it would be great if someone fills this gap!!
4. Socha zavěšeného Sigmunda Freuda: This too is a sculpture by David Černý! If you didn't know of this sculpture and you passed by this street, you'll be caught off-guard thinking someone is planning to die!!! Its the sculpture of Sigmund Freuda, 7ft tall, hanging on, holding just 1 hand, on a pole from a rooftop....  


5. Babies of Kampa Island: 3 Giant Babies!!! Again David Černý! Made of bronze installed in 2008! They're faceless, or rather have a barcode face!!!!!
6. Statue of Harmony: Shri Chinmoy was a spiritual leader from Bangladesh, who promoted the message of peace. Here in the banks of river Vltava is a life size statue of Shri Chinmoy with praying hands!

7. Yellow Penguins & Giant Chair: This is an interesting piece of art by Cracking Art Group made of recycled plastic bottles to emphasis on climate change and promote environmental consiousness. The line of 34 penguins apparently light up at night, which unfortunately I didn't see! Just beside the penguins is a giant wooden chair made by Magdalena Jetelova in 2010. 
8. Gremlin guarding the water mill: I did not originally know of it! I was walking from Lennon wall towards Charles bridge when I came across this quaint, bridge with a water mill beside it. This is called the Lovers Bridge and has several padlocks on it with names of lovers! On the mill, was this 'scary' Gremlin, guarding it! 
9. Il Commendatore (Cloak of consciousness): Though I knew of this statue I had decided to skip it. But it was there of my way from Astronomical Clock to the nearest McD! This is located just outside the Estates Theatre where Mozart played Don Giovanni for the first time and the cloaked figure represents its character Il Commendatore!
10. Faceless Knight: This is bang opposite to the Municipal library and I spotted it by chance. Its weird why is there this sculpture at all! Its of a knight who killed his wife in a fit of rage and he turned into a stone immediately!
11. Firefighter Memorial: A place that every American visiting Prague must see. A small memorial under Charles Bridge, we stumbled upon, when Atyudarini got hungry and we stopped here to breastfeed her. Its a memorial dedicated to the 343 New York firefighters who lost their lives in the 9/11 attack! 
12. Memorial to the victims of communism: This is at a walkable distance from Hotel Kinsky Garden, at the base of Petrin hill. This is a staircase with a man shown in stages of degeneration, to depict how political prisoners of communism were affected. This is sculptured in bronze by Olbram Zoubek. A metal strip beneath gives some statistics from communist history. If you're visiting here, bear in mind, it's a memorial! Seriously, please consider not photographing funny poses here......
13. Metronome: A few years ago, at this very spot was the largest statue of Joseph Stalin in the world, atop the Letna Park. Made of granite and stood a whooping 51ft tall, it was the symbol of USSR and communist regime. In 1962, it was destroyed and since 1990, a huge metronome has been standing here. Yes, its a functional metronome. However, when I saw it, it wasn't working! 


What I wanted to see, but missed:
1. Narrowest Street in Prague: I went there but the restaurant (yes, the narrowest street is the passage to a restaurant's terrace) was closed and obviously the path too was!
2. Giant babies of Zizkov TV Tower: The babies (yes, the same as the ones in Kampa island) crawling up the Zizkov TV Tower were removed in late 2017. I zoomed into this tower from Vysehrad and couldn't see the babies and then a quick Google search told me that they're down for maintenance 
3. Idiom Installation in Municipal Library: An egg shaped books installation with mirrors inside making a infinite reflection of books, with a small slot for your head! This is located inside the library and can be accessed only during the working hours of the library and its closed on Sundays and works half a day on Saturdays.
4. Palac Lucerna: Here, inside the shopping complex, hanging from the ceiling, is a sculpture of St. Wenceslas riding a horse. Sounds normal? But its by David Černý! So yeah, the horse is dead and is upside down!!! It was a bit away from our route and we skipped it!

To Stay: 
Hotel at all price points are available in Prague. 
Check out my review of Hotel Kinsky Garden where I stayed.

To Get There:
One of the best ways to explore such hidden spots & unusual trails, would be to explore the city with a local, not a typical tourist guide, but a regular local guy who shares similar interests. If you don't have friends in the city, hiring a local insider is be the next best option. Withlocals does exactly that and they have several private tours like Contemporary & Street Art Tour or Franz Kafka Tour or Hidden Gems etc.

On Google Maps: Otočná hlava Franze KafkySocha zavěšeného Sigmunda Freuda, Piss Sculpture, Lennon Wall, Babies of Kampa Island, Shri Chinmoy Statue, Yellow Penguins & Giant Chair, Gremlin guarding the water millMemorial to the victims of communism, MetronomeIl Commendatore, Firefighter Memorial, Narrowest Street in Prague, Zizkov Tower, Idiom Installation, Palac Lucerna

My entire Prague travelogue: Coming up soon.

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

15 comments:

  1. Whether it's the Lennon Wall or the Socha zavěšeného Sigmunda Freuda or the Piss Sculpture, Prague is so much about art. I love European cities like this one. You are lucky to have visited Prague. To me, I found the Yellow Penguins & Giant Chair more interesting as they are made from recycled plastic bottles. Such cool way of recycling waste!

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  2. Prague is such a charming city and this article is a great reminder of that. I always loved the street art of Prague but I haven't noticed some of the ones you shared here in the pictures. Another reason why I love this city so much, it always finds new ways to fascinate me :)

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  3. Oh wow this takes me back. Prague was the first European city that I visited and I took an organized bike tour on my first day. We passed by the weird babies, pointed out the hanging man, and had our minds blown with the pissing statues. It was so crazy to see so much art around the city. I wish I saw that Lennon Wall...but now I have a reason to go back!

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  4. Jane Dempster-SmithFebruary 9, 2019 at 2:00 AM

    I loved Prague when we visited last year. Finding the John Lennon wall at 6.30am in the morning with no tourists was a buzz - a great photo opportunity. You really found some unique out of the way places.
    Thanks for sharing.

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  5. I am always on a mission to find street art in any new city I visit. Prague was certainly one of my favorites in Europe for it. Especially with the Lennon wall!

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  6. I lived for a year in Prague and absolutly love the arts and displayed instalations. The pinguins look so cute, while art of David Cerny makes me reflect and laugh. John Lennons wall is a great piece of art which is all the time changing so whenever I was there it had different colors. I also loved the upside down horse in Lucerna Palace, also parody from David Cerny. Love Prague!

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  7. I would say David Cerny is one of the genius sculptures. His creations are just unique, smart, and amazing. Others creations are just amazing as David Cerny's. Then the city put it at the strategic place, to make sculptures/street arts hunting another option for traveling in the city.

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  8. Those are some lovely art works. Thanks for sharing these.

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  9. Wow, you convinced me. I want to go there just to see those sculptures especially the kinetic street art! I watched your video in awe! I think if I was there in person, I would be so mezmorized and just sit there and stare for hours. Also, that one sculpture of the guy hanging on with one hand...at a first glance it looks like a guy who was hung from a noose. I would be so startled if I looked up and saw that in the street! Anyway, great article!

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  10. This is great! I love viewing sculptures and art installations during my travels, and many of these were new to me. I've seen the two "pissing" statues in Prague and remember being so entertained by such a quirky idea! Yes, David Černý certainly is a unique artist! His peace statue of Shri Chinmoy immediately jumped out at me as well because we have what appears to be the exact same (or very similar!) statue here in Seattle! Now I have to do some research to see if it is indeed another of David Černý's creations! By the way, thank you also for the reminder not to strike poses at the Memorial to the Victims of Communism. In our Instagram era people sometimes forget to be respectful!

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  11. Prague is truly a beauty that words wouldn't be enough to elucidate. I really like how you capture the History of this place with your amazing photos. The sculptures are just stunning at their own right. I hope to traipse my feet around Prague soon If I get the chance.

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  12. Wow! The giant babies are cool. It is very unique and cute. I truly enjoyed reading your post. I had no idea that there are a lot of street art installations in Prague. Would love to visit soon. Thank you for sharing.

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  13. These are interesting street arts and very expressive! I like that huge baby crawling statue it looks cute and I wonder why they installed it.

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  14. I love to explore street art wherever I visit. The Lennon wall looks really cool and it is a place I would love to visit.

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