Les Clefs D'Or
Les Clefs D'Or

Your Key To Exploring Prague with David Cerny’s Sculptures

Known for its beautiful gothic architecture and genius loci, Prague is also characterized by its provocative, cheeky and fun street art. As you explore the city, you will be delighted to find many art installations by David Cerny, whose work exemplifies this unique expression. Cerny became an active artist right after the fall of Communism while in his early 20s. You might also know him from an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” show shot in Prague.

Following the path of David Cerny’s art, start your journey in Žižkov quarter also known as Prague’s Montmartre due to its hilly location. Here you will find many great restaurants and hipster cafes as well as Žižkov’s TV tower standing at 216 meters overlooking Prague. Cerny has installed several crawling babies along the sides of the TV tower making the steel structure a little less intimidating.

Continuing to Lucerna Palace located in the city center, you will find a Cerny sculpture that is almost identical to the statue of St. Wenceslas on horseback at the nearby Wenceslas Square with the exception that Cerny’s horse is upside down. You can enjoy this sculpture while relaxing in the classy café nearby, as well as make a visit to Cinema Lucerna, arguably the most beautiful theatre in Prague.

From Lucerna Palace passing through the beautiful Frantiskanska garden which is an oasis of peace in the middle of Prague, you will find the next Cerny sculpture – Head of Franz Kafka. Located across from the City Hall, the enormous head of Franz Kafka stands 11 metres tall and is made up of 42 rotating panels. Here you will also see an old-time elevator without door called “paternoster”.

A short distance away is the Statue of Sigmund Freud located at the intersection of Na Perstyne and Husova. This installation is often overlooked as it is placed approximately 10 meters above ground. Also known as the ‘Hanging Man’, this Cerny sculpture has been mistaken for an actual suicide a couple of times already.

Located just two minutes from Charles Bridge, our next stop brings us to Anenské naměsti, a quiet part of the Old Town. Along the side of the Theatre Na Zabradli building and part of its gutter drainpipe is one of David Cerny’s lesser known and unusual piece called the “Embryo”. If you wish to take a break, the café across the street has a very comfortable and homey atmosphere.

Across the Charles Bridge, Kampa Island offers not only lovely views but also several romantic cafés and restaurants. If you are lucky, you might even see David Cerny in person at café Kavárna Mlýnska where he frequents regularly and for which he created the transparent bar. You might also enjoy the Kampa Museum of Modern Art. Next to the Museum, you will find large crawling babies resembling the toddlers on the Žižkov TV tower. Rumor has it that you should give the baby sculptures a slap on the butt once a year for good luck.

Continuing from Kampa Island, you will reach the scenic Little Quarter full of greenery and hidden gardens. In the garden of Lobkowicz Palace, you will find Cerny’s sculpture “Quo Vadis” (1991) a bronze Trabant, an Eastern German automobile, attached to four human legs. Lobkowicz Palace was the residence of the German Embassy, initially the embassy of Western Germany. This installation humorously reminds the mass exodus of Eastern Germans to West Germany in 1989 through the embassy in Prague.

Our final stop in Little Quarter is the Franz Kafka Museum by the Vltava River. The unusual Cerny art installation you find here is the ‘Pissing Statues’. This water fountain consists of two male statues urinating into the pool in the shape of the Czech Republic. You can control the movement of the urine by sending a text to +420 724 370 770. Upon receipt of your text, the statues will pee your message into the pool.

Following the artwork of David Cerny might also take you to the less explored areas of Prague such as Jinonice, Butovice, Chodov or Smíchov where you can visit his atelier MeetFactory as well as the Futura Gallery. At the Futura Gallery, you will find a hugely popular and provocative installation called “Brown-nosing” often with Instagram users taking photos literally with their head up of someone’s butt.

Meet the Author
Vaclav Sklenar

My name is Václav and I have the pleasure of working as a concierge. Having always had a love for travelling, I discovered my passion to join this profession during a backpacking trip through South-East Asia. Initially I started working as a tour guide in Prague and eventually I decided to become a concierge. The valuable experience and knowledge that I have gained as a tour guide helps me greatly in interacting with our hotel guests. My goal is to assist our guests in making the best of their stay in Prague and encouraging them to explore more than the must-see highlights.

Hotel NH Collection Prague Carlo IV

Carlo IV is a 5-star hotel, housed in a splendid Neo-Renaissance building in the centre of Prague. This luxury property offers 152 elegant and individually designed rooms and suites. Guests can choose from a variety of restaurants: The Inn Ox Lounge offers delicious international dining; Lobby Café serves a richly varied breakfast buffet from early morning to the tune of live music; the atmospheric Inn Ox Bar serves deliciously mixed cocktails; and The Vault, located in the original bank treasury, has an extensive collection of rare premium spirits. The property houses an expansive spa in the subterranean vault, with a 20m long heated pool and pool facilities, as well as a modern and well-equipped fitness studio. Meanwhile, Carlo IV’s Conference Floor has a separate, dedicated entrance and offers six rooms of various sizes suitable for every kind of event.

Carlo IV is made up of two buildings. The historical part is a listed palace that was constructed at the end of the 19th century and the modern part was built at the beginning of the 21st century. The old world of luxury meets modern architecture at Carlo IV, and both properties blend beautifully together.


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