Kafka on Shoulders of Invisible Man
Consult the Urban Dictionary under the word “bohemian” (spelled with a lowercase B), and you will get a definition that reads: “[Someone] who leads an alternative lifestyle. They are not hippies because they can have an extremely wide range of different tastes in music, fashion, art, literature, etc., and they are usually very creative people. They are above all optimists, even if they can be very cynical too. They like wearing a mixture of weird clothes and mix different fashions together just for the heck of it.” Though the physical Kingdom of Bohemia is no more, the spirit of the bohemian continues to rule the region it once occupied, and none more so than in its public art. Below, a collection of images from Prague, a truly Bohemian city, in every sense of the word.
Words and images by Jessica Tudzin. Please respect copyright.xxxx
In 1393, the Bohemian king Wenceslaus ordered St John of Nepomuk (the country's patron saint) thrown off the Charles Bridge because he would not reveal the confessions of the queen. This site on the bridge marks the spot he was thrown. Legend has it that stars appeared around the saint's head the moment he hit the water
Stained glass window by Alfons Mucha, St Vitus Cathedral
The Stroch House in Old Town
Peeing Men, located at the entrance of the Kafka Museum, by Czech artist David Cerny.
It's common for couples to write their names on a padlock, then lock it on this gate on the Mala Stana near the Lennon Wall (see link below).
During the 1989 Velvet Revolution, crowds of protesters jostled their keys in the air, the sound a musical gesture of non-violent protest. To commemorate the moment, artist Jill David created this sculpture made from 85,741 keys, spelling Revolution
Cubist light post
Statue of young woman, Kampa Park
Even the graffiti in Prague is creative. This one is located in Kampa Park
The facades of many historic buildings in the city are covered in sgraffito, a painting technique introduced by the Italian artists that the Bohemian burghers often employed.
Architectural details on a local restaurant
Located in a mall, David Cerny's parody sculpture of Dead Horse ridden by King Wenceslaus
WWII propaganda poster is one among many on exhibition at the entrance of the Royal Gardens
Statue honoring Mozart's Don Giovanni, which debuted in Prague on October 29, 1787.
Prague's narrowest street is equipped with a traffic light so that pedestrians won't collide with each other. The street with no name leads from U Luzickeho seminare street to a restaurant near the Charles Bridge.
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Kampa Museum, Prague