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Discover the Surreal Art in Prague + Map | Czechia

by Vanessa

Prague in the Czech Republic is full of quirky, contemporary, and bold displays of art. The city is thriving on the European scene for weird and wonderful visuals that certainly raise a smile as you wander around. Here are some fine examples of surreal art in Prague.

 


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DISCOVER THE SURREAL STATUES AND ART IN PRAGUE


Peek in the spiraling Idiom

The Idiom, sometimes dubbed the “Column of Knowledge“, is the work of Slovak artist Matej Krén. The Jenga-style tower of 8,000 books has a narrow tear-shaped opening that creates a ten-foot hole in the side of the tower. Kren installed a mirror inside the funnel to create the illusion of a magical, unending spire of books and the experience of looking down into the waters of a wishing well. Take a look inside and feel the infinity, it’s pretty mind-blowing.

Located in Prague Municipal Library by Mariánské Square // spotted by Wanders Miles

The Idiom in the Municipal Library in Prague
Inside the Idiom by Matej Krén at Prague Municipal Library

Look up for the ‘Man Hanging Out’

Don’t call Prague’s fire and police like some, Man Hanging Out is a quirky sculpture in the Stare Meso area of the city. This art piece depicts psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud hanging by one hand on the top of a building, looking down and wondering whether to make the leap of suicide. It is a thought-provoking sculpture by artist David Černy displaying Freud’s constant struggle with anxiety and fear of his own death.

Located at the intersection of Husova and Skorepka

Sigmund Freud - Man Hanging by David Černý - Getting arty in Prague

Sigmund Freud – Man Hanging by David Černý


Spot the Stumbling Stones of Prague

German artist, Günter Demnig, has been tirelessly placing stones for different victims of the Nazi regime since 1995 in front of their last chosen residence before their deportation to concentration camps. The Stolpersteine, (Stones of the Vanished or Stumbling Stones) have been a roaring success and you can find 70,000 across 22 countries. How many can you spot dotted around the streets of Prague?

The project has since spread across Europe, and this morning the latest ‘Stolperstein’ was laid in Prague, outside the last home of the Czech writer and journalist Milena Jesenská.

To be found around the city & the world // Spotted by Wanders Miles

Stumbling stones in Prague, Czechia

Stumbling stones in Prague


Marvel at the surreal Statue of Franz Kafka

Sculptor Jaroslav Róna installed the statue of Franz Kafka in the neighborhood where the author spent most of his life and would have been able to see this square from his home. The sculpture shows Kafka taking the place of the narrator, while a huge, empty suit takes the place of the unnamed acquaintance which depicts a scene from his 1912 short story, “Description of a Struggle.” It’s a pretty surreal vision!

Located in Dušní Street, Jewish Quarter // Spotted by Wanders Miles

Statue of Franz Kafka by Jaroslav Róna in Prague

Statue of Franz Kafka by Jaroslav Róna


Watch the spinning Head of Franz Kafka

Bringing life to the Quadrio Shopping Centre, Head of Franz Kafka is an epic kinetic sculpture by David Černy comprising of 42 shiny plates of stainless steel that constantly rotate and align to reveal the face of the famous Czech writer, Franz Kafka. This piece depicts the tortured soul and self-doubt that affected him throughout his life. You could sit and watch this 11m revolving art piece for hours.

Located in Charvátova near the Quadrio Shopping Centre // Spotted by Wanders Miles

Spinning head of Franz Kafka by David Černý

Spinning head of Franz Kafka by David Černý


The mocking Statue of King Wenceslas Riding an Upside-Down Dead Horse

The upside-down horse from Prague is a bizarre statue located in Art Nouveau Lucerna Palace, discovered during a food tour of the city. The statue represents King Wenceslas riding an upside-down dead horse and it has been created by David Černý – the same sculptor who created the crawling babies, another intriguing statue in Prague. The statue was not well received at all by the authorities in Prague and this is why today, it is “hidden” inside the gallery, hanging from the ceiling. The upside-down horse is a mock-up of the statue of King Wenceslas riding a horse, in Wenceslas Square from Prague. 

Located at 36 Vodičkova // Spotted by The World In My Pocket

Statue of King Wenceslas Riding an Upside-Down Dead Horse by David Černý

King Wenceslas Riding an Upside-Down Dead Horse by David Černý


Jump on the weird Crawling Babies

As far as surreal art in Prague goes, you will not miss these 3 rather bizarre faceless crawling babies as you wander through Kampa Park. These famous bronze sculptures with bar code stamps squished into their face are the creations of David Černy and are part of his “Babies” project, a commission to make the notoriously ugly Zizkov TV Tower appear more attractive. There were some fun photos going on as people jumped on or peeped out from between the legs of the oversized Crawling Babies.

Located next to the Kampa Museum // Spotted by Wanders Miles

Crawling Babies in Kampa Park by David Černý

Crawling Babies in Kampa Park by David Černý


Yellow penguins come with a warning!

This row of 34 yellow penguins marching in a single file line across the Vltava River was created by the Cracking Art Group. As cute as the penguins are, they carry a serious message about climate change and plastic consumption. They are made out of recycled plastic bottles, and the artists hope to start a dialogue about plastic waste and the way human behaviour is threatening the habitat of penguins and other animals in Antarctica and beyond.

Located at Kampa Park // Spotted by The Nomadic Vegan

34 Yellow Penguins in Prague by the Cracking Art Group

34 Yellow Penguins by the Cracking Art Group


Make your mark on the Lennon Wall

As you turn the corner, you know when you’ve reached the John Lennon Wall. The vivid display of Lennon-inspired street art and Beatles song lyrics graffitied onto the wall is a sight to behold, a sharp contrast to the secluded street near Kampa Park. Following the murder of John Lennon in 1980, an image of the singer was painted onto the wall.

During the twilight of Communism, it was the site where young Czechs wrote their grievances against the regime. Despite many attempts by the authorities to whitewash Lennon’s Wall, it is now a permanent symbol of love and peace and is forever changing as artists and people write their poignant messages. It’s a popular tourist attraction so get there early if you want a selfie without photo-bombers.

Located in

John Lennon Wall in Prague

John Lennon Wall


Watching the Proudy men pee

The controversial artist David Černy manages to shock and provoke Proudy which was installed in 2004. The two bronze men sculptures are writing out famous quotations from Czech literature with their never-ending ‘pee’ onto a basin in the shape of the Czech country. It’s a pretty memorable sculpture and certainly has viewers smiling and taking note of the sculpture simply known as “Piss”. Certainly a memorable surreal art piece in Prague.

Located in front of the Franz Kafka Museum

Proudy men peeing by David Černý in Prague

Proudy men peeing by David Černý


Hrabal Wall: a street art tribute

Bohumil Hrabal was one of the well-known figures of Czech and international literature. His books were translated into 25 languages, and a few of them were made into movies too. In the place where his house used to stand now a so-called “Hrabal Wall” can be found. It’s very easy to get there, the mural is right at the exit from Palmovka metro station (yellow line B). The wall shows the writer surrounded by his beloved cats, with some of the most memorable quotes from his books written here and there. While you are here it’s worth taking a look around as there’re some other decent examples of Prague street art too!

Located in Praha 8 by Palmovka metro // Spotted by Kami & The Rest Of The World

Hrabal Wall in Prague

Hrabal Wall


Babies crawling on Prague TV Tower, really?

Another David Černý’s creation, another set of babies, this time placed on Prague TV Tower. The 10 black babies were originally installed on the tower in 2000 when Prague was Europe’s capital of culture. Even though they were supposed to be temporary, locals became to like how the babies made the TV Tower look, and eventually, it was decided they’d stay.

In 2017 the babies, each 350cm long and 260cm tall, disappeared for 2 years for planned maintenance. However, new ones were made instead, this time with a more durable construction that should easily last for decades.

Located in Žižkov neighborhood // Spotted by Travel Geekery

Babies crawling on Prague TV Tower by David Černý

Babies crawling on Prague TV Tower by David Černý

Have you come across any strange and surreal works of art in and around Prague? Do comment below any wonderful creations you’ve come across!


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20 comments

Debjani Lahiri 25th June 2019 - 9:14 am

It’s a shame that in my 1.5 days in Prague’s stay, I couldn’t cover half of what is mentioned there . Although I was awestruck by the John Lennon Wall and the courage the Prague civilians showed during various war for their civil rights . Czech Republic is always known for its rebellious spirit .

Reply
Vanessa 25th June 2019 - 6:06 pm

I think the Velvet Revolution proved what a strong race they are standing up for what they believe in.

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Medha Verma 25th June 2019 - 3:01 pm

I have seen the Lennon wall and crawling babies but not the rest. The Jenga-style tower of 8,000 books looks pretty awesome, would’ve loved to visit if I had known about it before my trip.

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Vanessa 25th June 2019 - 6:07 pm

There’s so much more I didn’t cover too, I’d love to go back and see more of the crazy art around Prague.

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Pashmina Binwani 25th June 2019 - 7:01 pm

I have only been to Vienna and completely missed out on Prague. I really love the message and concept behind the yellow penguins and wondered why I have not heard about this before. Thanks for sharing such an enlightening post, one with real stories and sights to learn about! Prague is next on my list.

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Vanessa 25th June 2019 - 7:05 pm

I’m the same, I missed Vienna. What I loved about the art in Prague, not only was it quirky but there was a message behind them all that says something about the country.

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Val 25th June 2019 - 8:18 pm

I must admit that this is a side of Prague I’ve never really considered, despite having been there three times already.The Lennon wall looks fantastic and how cool are those yellow penguins spreading such an important message?! But I think my favorite piece is the Column of Knowledge with all those colorful books creating such an awesome work of art!

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Vanessa 26th June 2019 - 4:28 pm

The Column of Knowledge was pretty cool. A group of young school kids came in and swarmed round it, I was so nervous they were going to knock it over!

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Emman Damian 26th June 2019 - 12:01 am

I haven’t been in Prague, Czech Republic but I’m going there next year. I’ll try to visit all the places you mentioned especially Column of Knowledge. It looks so cool! I want to take a shot like that too. It also makes me think of how they made it. Hrabal Wall looks amazing too! I just hope I can take a selfie here!

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Vanessa 26th June 2019 - 4:29 pm

There’s so much more too than I got chance to see, do your research before you go to make sure you see as much surreal works of art as possible!

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Daniel 26th June 2019 - 11:01 am

This is one of my favorite parts of Prague! There are so many unusual and even bizarre statues all around the city! I’ve seen some of these, some are new to me but I could definitely think of a few more interesting ones to add to this list 🙂 Thank you for sharing, this was a really cool reading 🙂

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Vanessa 26th June 2019 - 4:37 pm

Oh do share the knowledge, which ones have you seen that I should find next time I visit?

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Clarice 27th June 2019 - 10:43 am

The Man Hanging Out is interesting. It may appear silly and funny for some but yes, I would have to agree with you that this has a deeper meaning. It is certainly thought-provoking and is a good discussion/debate piece.

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Vanessa 28th June 2019 - 12:59 pm

It’s definitely a great piece for debate as are many of the crazy art sculptures in Prague – can’t get enough of it!

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Yukti 29th June 2019 - 10:53 am

I spent 4 days in Prague and could find some street art but could not spot these statues. These are really stunning and now I am thinking for Prague again. I would love to check column of Knowledge as it looks very interesting. And The mocking Statue of King Wenceslas Riding an Upside-Down Dead Horse looks very photogenic.

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Vanessa 29th June 2019 - 12:02 pm

I’d done some research before I arrived so I did go looking for some of them but I missed so many, I could go back to Prague too!

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Kat Anderson 13th May 2020 - 8:23 am

I love seeing street art! I haven’t yet visited the Czech Republic. Thanks for the list of sights to see when I do go.

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Vanessa 18th May 2020 - 5:26 am

I keep seeing more online that I would love to see again, just means I will need to visit Prague again!

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Carpediemeire 29th June 2020 - 12:15 pm

Vanessa these are very cool. Definitely my kind of art. A very valid reason to go back to Prague.

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Vanessa 9th July 2020 - 8:41 am

I was blown away with some of the art in Prague, some pretty quirky pieces! I’d love to head back and find more of them.

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