Friday, April 18, 2008

Prague Peculiarities

Hi Everyone,
Today, I’m writing this post about some Prague Peculiarities--peculiarities that are to be found all over this city! It could make one never- ending blog post if I were to list them all! But, in the interest of time, I want to share three of these peculiarities with you today.

The first one is a bit strange…well, that’s a bit of an understatement…more than a bit…it’s downright strange and crude (by American standards)! It is called the “Pissing Statue”…you read that correctly! This statue, by David Černy, is located in the Kampa area of Prague. The statue is of two men urinating, while standing in a puddle that is shaped like the Czech Republic! My husband told me about this statue, but I didn’t believe such a thing existed, until he took me to see it! The statue is certainly an eye-full as the men are not dressed, and use their anatomically correct parts to “write” with while urinating. There is a number you can send an SMS to…whatever text you send, the statues will “write” into the puddle with their you-know-what parts. It’s true!!! Otherwise, they are “writing” quotes from some of the Czech Republic’s most famous writers and poets…yes…this is true!!! Please see my photo. Since this is a family-oriented blog, I chose to block out the anatomically correct parts. If you would like to see the statue without my artistic blocking, please see David's website. And you can find more information about David Černy, here in an interview with the Prague Compass Magazine. He is a very innovative artist, and has several works that can be seen around Prague. One of his most famous works was the Pink Tank! There was a Russian military tank on display in one square, here in Prague. It was seen as a symbol of the Soviet take-over of the Czech Republic. David Černy painted the entire tank pink, thus deflating the power of this symbol and turning it into something that was representative of the peace and freedom that is to be found nowadays in this country.

The next Prague Peculiarity is definitely very family-friendly! This one is called the John Lennon Wall. It is also found in the Kampa area, near the French Embassy. This was once just an ordinary wall that was completely blank. But in 1980, when John Lennon was killed, this wall became a symbol of peace and freedom to the Prague pacificists. John Lennon was a great symbol to the young people of Prague; in that time, they were still suffering under the communist regime. Lennon’s, and similar music, was banned by the communists because it was praising freedom and was seen as rebellious music. Many musicians who sang such music were even put in prison!

When John Lennon was killed, some young people decided to paint a graffiti commemoration to him on this wall. They painted his picture, along with graffiti defiant of the reigning regime. The authorities found all of this graffiti and used white paint to cover it up. This round of graffiti and painting over happened time and again! At one point, the wall was guarded at night, and also had surveillance cameras installed to watch it, but even so, the youth returned to paint again, even with the threat of prison if they were caught.

This monument to Lennon became an important place for those who loved his music and desired peace, and was also seen as a monument for freedom and non-violent rebellion of the Czechs against the communists. The original painting of Lennon is gone (covered under many layers of paint), but the wall is still an important place for people to express themselves…mostly, there are signs of love and peace written here, now. There is also an insert of a sculpture of Lennon’s head that can be seen on the wall. It is really a pretty place, and somehow very peaceful and calming! I had no idea that such a commemoration to Lennon even existed here, in Prague! The Lennon wall is free to see…I would recommend it highly as a place to visit during your stay here!

The last Prague Peculiarity I would like to share with you today is of a wheel barrow! As we were walking in the Kampa area, near Mala Strana, we came across a place where they were busy reconstructing the street. There were no workmen in sight, they must have been on a break. The man using this wheel barrow was obviously worried about someone stealing it while he was on break!

Well, that’s all for today from Prague! Have a great day! And, as they say here, “Hezky vikend” (have a great weekend)!

God bless,
Sherry :0)
© 2008 by czechoffthebeatenpath
All photos property of S. A. Vacik

1 comment:

Quenut said...

I guess I missed out on those interesting bits while I lived in Prague - sadly I didn't know about your blog then.. But since I plan on going back, I might check out those places next time :)