Where to find Prague’s quirkiest art

Jeremy Foster

You’ll only spend a few hours in beautiful Prague before you realize that the fairytale city isn’t just about perfectly preserved Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture. Beneath that pretty surface is a quirky, tongue-in-cheek, politically-charged art scene with some unforgettable pieces scattered around the city. Local artist David Černý is one of the most noteworthy appearances on this list, as his edgy (and often controversial) pieces are renowned around the world. But there’s a lot more to discover too, from colorful street art to eerie statues to graffiti-covered walls. Some are found close to other historic highlights; others will take a little more work to find. That’s half the fun!

Tags: Street Art

  • Vila Milada

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    • travelfreak

      Just outside of Prague is the decaying mansion known as Squat Milada, a cooperative art workspace that became a squatter’s paradise in the late 90s. Although it’s no longer the busy artistic bubble it once was, squatters still live there and you’ll often see artwork adorning its walls and windows.

  • Head of Franz Kafka, Czech Republic

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    • travelfreak

      David Černý’s “Head of Franz Kafka” features a giant, mirrored sculpture of the author’s head, a man afflicted with depression his entire life. It’s made up of 42 mechanical rotating layers that reflect the constant movement of Kafka’s tortured mind.

  • Reon Argondian - Magical Cavern

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    • travelfreak

      Eccentric artist Reon Argondian converted his home into a Magical Cavern, otherwise known as the Kingdom of Argondia. The artist has converted the building into a series of cave-like rooms where every inch is covered in colorful paintings and decorative tree roots.

  • IL COMMENDATORE by Anna Chromý

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    • travelfreak

      This ultra-spooky sculpture of a cloaked figure with an empty hood was created by Anna Chromy and sits in front of the Estates Theatre. Apparently it’s haunted -- some people have claimed that faces appear in the empty hood of the sculpture when using flash photography.

  • Municipal Library of Prague

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    • travelfreak

      At the Prague Municipal Library, artist Matej Kren has created a perfect book tower known as “Idiom.” If you’re a bookworm you’ll love this long-term art exhibit with hundreds of books stacked into a tower, and the mirrors at its base create an illusion that the tower is infinite.

  • DRIPSTONE WALL, Czech Republic

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    • travelfreak

      Inside the grotto of the Wallenstein Palace is the Dripstone Wall, created by a Danish artist named Adrian de Vries. What looks like a typical textured wall is actually a giant sculpture full of monsters and disfigured animals; apparently, if you stare long enough, there’s a secret passageway (although no one has found it yet).

  • Dom Hrabala, Czech Republic

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    • travelfreak

      Bohumil Hrabal was an incredibly important author of Czech literature, and his books were translated in 25 languages -- several of them were also turned into movies. The Hrabal Wall, near his home, was painted by Tatiana Svatošová and shows him surrounded by his cats and memorable book quotes.

  • Yellow Penguins, Czech Republic

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    • travelfreak

      These 34 yellow penguins created by six international artists march along at Kampa Park, and are made entirely of recycled materials. Their reflection in the water is a reminder that our polluting habits affect animals everywhere.

  • Lennon Wall

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    • travelfreak

      This John Lennon-inspired wall has been covered in graffiti from random strangers since the 1980s. During the communist era, young folks would use this wall as a place to air their complaints; nowadays it’s a free-for-all, but it’s fun to see what other people have shared.

  • Brown Nosers, Czech Republic

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    • travelfreak

      In the courtyard of the Futura Gallery are two giant butts emerging from the wall. Climb up the ladders and look inside the buttholes (I can’t believe I’m writing this) where there are two TVs showing a video of politicians feeding each other soup.

  • Piss Sculpture, Czech Republic

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    • travelfreak

      Another from David Černý, this sculpture shows two bronze male figures peeing into a pond shaped like the Czech Republic. There’s a gsm unit inside the statue that receives text messages (there’s a sign nearby with the number), and the two men move their hips and write the message with their “pee” (yes, seriously!).

  • Bunker Folimanka, Czech Republic

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    • travelfreak

      You’ll find this abandoned nuclear bunker in Folimanka Park, and it’s hard to miss: anonymous street artists have painted it to the perfect likeliness of R2-D2.

  • Memorial Kafka, Czech Republic

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    • travelfreak

      This work by Jaroslav Róna was created to commemorate Franz Kafka in his native city, and shows a headless man in a suit with a smaller sculpture of Kafka on his shoulders. It’s inspired by Kafka’s short story, “Description of a Struggle.”

  • "Babies" Sculpture by David Cerný, Czech Republic

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    • travelfreak

      If you’re near the TV tower in the Žižkov area, look up and you’ll see giant babies crawling up the side of the tower. Yes, that’s another David Černý masterpiece.

  • Statue of King Wenceslas Riding an Upside-Down Dead Horse

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    • travelfreak

      Prolific Czech sculptor David Černý is mentioned a few times in this list, because he’s mastered weird and quirky art. One of his most famous is the statue of St. Wenceslas riding a dead upside-down horse in front of the National Museum.