While exploring Prague, I stumbled upon many statues in the different corners of the city. After my trip, I did some research and found out that Prague has its fair share of, let’s say, “interesting” sculptures. Some had historical significant while others were just…strange. Let’s take a look at the ones that I managed to find.
The statue of men (or just one man) being eaten up from the core and finally losing a part of himself illustrates the destruction of a totalitarian society. Inscribed on a tablet in front of these statues: “The memorial to the victims of communism is dedicated to all victims, not only those who were jailed or executed but also those whose lives were ruined by totalitarian despotism.”
The Charles Bridge in Prague is adorned with statues of saints and important personage lining along its sides. One of the statues is that of Saint John of Nepomuk, a national saint of Bohemia who was thrown into the Vltava River at the very spot where the statue stands.
I stumbled upon the peeing statues during the night by mistake as I hadn’t intended to look for them or even known about them beforehand. From afar, you would probably have thought these were two real men peeing in public as they were life-sized figures. Created by Czech sculptor David Černý, this fountain is titled “Piss” and describes the statues exactly as they were: pissing. It seems like every peeing statue I ever see will remind me of the Manneken Pis in Brussels – and you really can’t blame me 😛
Here’s an interesting one – a pregnant woman. According to my Czech tour guide Bara, the idea of this big statue was so that visitors could re-experience their birth (or experience a rebirth, whichever way you want to look at it) by crawling through the woman’s uhh…bottom. Several people actually did just that – I guess that did make some good photos 😛
Franz Kafka is a well-known Prague-born writer in the early 20th century. While it is common to commemorate influential people using statues, this one is a bit…bizarre? Sculpted by Jaroslav Róna, the statue depicts a man riding on the shoulders of a headless man…and it would seem like the carrier has no hands and probably no feet as well. Apparently this sculpture represents a scene in Kafka’s short story titled “Description of a Struggle”, where Kafka himself is the man riding on the shoulders. I guess I’ll have to read the story to understand the implications of the statue and the meaning behind it…
Behind my adorable walking tour guide Bara loomed the mysterious sculpture of Don Giovanni, hooded but faceless. At first glance it reminded me of “the Wiseman” from the Sailor Moon anime series – please don’t judge me, it was my childhood! Anyway, the statue of the ghost of Don Giovanni was placed in front of the Prague opera house or estate theatre, as this was the location of the grand opening of Mozart’s famous opera, Don Giovanni. Bara seemed to be thrilled to explain the history and significance behind the estate theatre and the ghost statue!
As the evening was approaching, I saw a man playing the recorder, on my way back down to the old town from the Prague castle. The thing I love about street musicians is that they’re not professional, yet they’re so authentic and real. Some notes may have been off, but the crisp sound of the instrument resonated in my ears and I couldn’t resist dripping him a coin or two. Or course this man had a guitar- or ukulele-playing fellow as a companion, only one that would never move or produce music the way he did.
Finally, heading back to Wenceslas Square where my hostel was located, I passed by the Wenceslas Monument, which stood in front of the National Museum (of course I was passing behind the statue). At this viewpoint, the entire Wenceslas Square is laid out before your eyes. It is here where Saint Wenceslas (Good King Wenceslas), a duke of Bohemia, watches over the city of Prague on his horse. And it was at this point where I headed back and said…good night, Prague!