The City of a Hundred Spires may be famous for its architecture, but there’s more to Prague than its skyline. Home to an exciting avant-garde art scene that spills out of the museums and onto the streets, you’ll find plenty of public art on display across the city. Something of a household name in the Czech Republic, David Černý has created many of the most famous Prague sculptures, with his Tower Babies and upside down horse among the best known (and most bizarre) public artworks on display. You could spend your time taking a tour of just Černý’s artwork but that would be a mistake as there are many other sculptural highlights that should not be ignored, including the many statues on show at the Vyšehrad Cemetery and the works of sculpture Jaroslav Rona. Here are a few of our favourite Prague sculptures to see on your next trip.
A tribute to over 4000 East Germans who stationed themselves on this spot while awaiting political asylum and the freedom to travel back to Germany, David Černý uses a bronze Trabant car (a typical car at the time, which many Germans were forced to leave behind) positioned on cartoon legs for this particular statue. Located in the German Embassy, you’ll have to peer through the garden gates of a children’s playground to see this unusual piece.
Zizkov Tower Babies
The highest tower in the Czech Republic – and also the least attractive – David Černý decided to add crawling babies to the Zizkov Tower in an attempt to make it more aesthetically pleasing. But whether the Tower babies’ distorted, machine-like faces and glow-in-the-dark capabilities constitute an aesthetic improvement is a matter of opinion.
Černý’s Upside Down Horse
Another eccentric piece by David Černý, and one of the most striking Prague sculptures, Horse depicts St Wenceslas sitting astride an upside-down steed. A subversion of the original imposing statue just around the corner in Wenceslas Square, Černý’s horse is quite clearly dead, despite the triumphant pose. You can find it hanging in Prague’s Lucerna shopping centre, naturally.
Kafka Museum: Piss
Another unusual David Černý sculpture, Piss does exactly what it says on the tin. Set at the entrance to the Kafka Museum, two male figures stand urinating in a pool of water shaped like the Czech Republic – the statues move mechanically to spell out quotes from political leaders in “piss”. Should you so desire, you can also have your own message spelled out by the obliging gentlemen by sending a text to the number provided.