Prague is one of the most surprising and intriguing cities in the world. Below a surface of baroque buildings and gothic churches, is a culture that’s creatively and artistically diverse, with quirky attractions constantly popping up in the least expected places. From avant-garde art installations like Metalmorphosis by David Černý to architectural feats such as Dancing House and intriguing spaces like Futura Gallery, discover another side to the city with this guide to the most unusual things to do in Prague.
David Černý is one of the most important and influential sculptors in the Czech Republic, known for his creative and often controversial large-scale installations. The artist has placed a number of his works around his hometown, Prague. One of the latest is Metalmorphosis, a kinetic sculpture of writer Franz Kafka’s head, made of several metallic layers, which continuously rotate. Named after the author’s book Metamorphosis, the large mirrored installation can be found in a city centre plaza next to Národní Třída metro station.ity.
With three floors of collective and solo exhibitions by some of the world’s greatest contemporary artists, Futura Gallery is one of the quirkiest art spaces in Prague. A highlight of the private non-profit institution, located in the Smíchov quarter, is another installation by the prolific David Černý. The interactive piece, titled Brownnosers, features two giant men leaning over, with the front half of their bodies disappearing into the wall. To get the full effect, guests must climb up a ladder to peer through a hole between their legs where they’ll see a video of two Czech politicians feeding each other to a soundtrack of We are the Champions by Queen.
Dancing House is a wonderful example of modernist architecture taken to the extreme. The unusual building, overlooking the Vltava River, was built in the 1990s by Czech and American architects Vlado Milunić and Frank Gehry, and stands out due to its unique curved outlines. It’s also known as the Fred and Ginger Building (after legendary dance duo Fred Astaire and Gingers Rogers), as its design makes it look as though the buildings are dancing together. While most of Dancing House is private, visitors can dine at the Ginger & Fred restaurant on the top floor.
High on the list of unusual things to do in Prague is a trip to The Museum of Historical Chamber Pots and Toilets. The eccentric museum, which prides itself on holding the world’s largest collection of bathroom objects, presents the history of waste disposal in an entertaining, artistic and informative manner. While not the most charming of attractions in Prague, it’s certainly unique and is sure to leave guests appreciating modern day facilities. Highlights of the collection include chamber pots made for Napoleon Bonaparte, as well as the Lincoln Bedroom at The White House in Washington DC.
This famous wall in Prague’s Velkopřevorské Náměstí square became an unexpected symbol of communist rebellion in the 1980s. Following the death of John Lennon (considered a pacifist hero by many young Czechs), a large image of the musician was painted on the wall. It quickly became not just a tribute to The Beatles singer, but also a representation of peace, love and freedom. While the wall has been whitewashed many times, artists have quickly re-covered the blank canvas with slogans and imagery. Nowadays, it stands proudly as a colourful symbol of peace in the heart of Prague.