There are plenty of exciting and beautiful places to see around the world, and the capital of Czech Republic is no exception. But besides its justifiably famous sights, the Golden City has many unique and unusual places, buildings and monuments that might go unseen by travelers not in the know. So we’ve put together a list of 10 unique monuments in Prague. You’ve got to see these the next time you visit this fantastic city.
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1) Two views of St. Wenceslas
In Wenceslas Square, the patron saint of the Czech Republic, Wenceslas, proudly sits on a horse just in front of the National Museum. This is one of the most famous monuments in Prague. But take a walk to the nearby Lucerna passage and you can see the same horse, along with Wenceslas, hanging upside down. This is a work of artist David Černý, whose irreverent sense of humor has made him very popular. In fact he’s responsible for some of the most unique monuments in Prague, including several on this list.
2) Sigmund Freud over the edge
Walking along Husova Street in Old Town, you’ll certainly admire the beautiful buildings. But remember to look up! Atop one of the buildings you’ll see a statue of Sigmund Freud hanging from the roof, personifying a person who challenges society and struggles with the fear of death. It’s another example of the Czech black sense of humor.
3) Those famous babies
You might have heard of these famous bronze babies, which can be seen crawling up and down the Žižkov Television Tower, another famous monument in Prague. But you don’t have to go to the tower to see them up close, as several of the sculptures are in Kampa Park. They certainly make for a unique photo opportunity!
4) Franz Kafka in the courtyard
In the courtyard behind a shopping mall at the Národní třída subway station you’ll see these brilliant steel discs forming the giant head of Franz Kafka. Stay long enough and they’ll begin to move, rearranging themselves and turning around. It’s a very alluring tribute to one of Prague’s most famous writers.
5) When nature calls…
In the courtyard of the Franz Kafka Museum near the Charles Bridge, two bronze figures stand above a fountain in the shape of the Czech Republic, “taking care of business,” as it were. This is a fascinating and very funny kinetic sculpture. Of all the monuments in Prague, this one might be the most controversial.
6) The John Lennon Wall
During communism the so-called John Lennon Wall became a place for hippies and members of the counter-culture to gather. It’s covered in interesting graffiti, much like the Victor Tsoi Wall in Moscow. The wall is officially protected by the Order of Malta and is a monument to the twentieth century.
7) Yellow penguins on the river
Yellow penguins are part of the art exhibition Re: evolution at the Kampa Museum, close to the bronze babies in Kampa Park. Made from environmentally friendly materials, the penguins are best viewed at night, when they are lit up.
8) A metronome with a view
Built in 1991 to celebrate the end of communism, the Prague Metronome by Vratislav Novak overlooks the entire city as it sweeps back and forth. Climb up the stone stairs from the river and you’ll be rewarded with great views as well as the green expanse of Letná Park, which has walking and cycling paths and a great beer garden.
9) The dripstone wall
Close to the entrance to the Malostranská metro station you’ll find the beautiful Wallenstein Gardens. These are worth a walk in their own right, but in a back corner of the garden you’ll find one of the most unusual monuments in Prague, a huge dripstone wall with faces and figures seemingly emerging from the stone. The wall gives this part of the garden a grotto-like feel.
10) A tower of books
While you’re on the Royal Route visiting Old Town Square and the Charles Bridge, you’ll probably walk past the National Library. Step inside and you’ll catch a glimpse of an interesting monument to books. Idiom is an installation by Czech artist Matej Kren. Stick your head inside the tower of books and you’ll see that mirrors at the top and bottom make it seem like it’s going on forever. That’s a lot of books!
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Nataly was one of our Central Europe Destination Managers from 2013-2018, based in Prague. Originally from Ukraine, Prague has been her home for many years. She loves exploring the Czech Republic and neighboring countries whenever the opportunity arises.