The streets of Brno are full of various objects that may leave you scratching your head. Some cause controversy while others get passed by without much notice.
Get to know Brno’s most significant statues and installations, as well as the stories (and controversies) behind them. Make sure not to miss Moravské náměstí (Moravian Square), where you can find artistic allegories for Plato’s four cardinal virtues: the sculptures of Courage and Justice; an oblong fountain representing Temperance; and a bronze model of what Brno looked like in 1645, when besieged by the Swedish army, as a symbol of Wisdom. Not far away, still on Moravian Square, stands a monumental statue of a Soviet soldier.
In the park under Špilberk Castle, you can look through the eyes of local poet Jan Skácel, and at Zelný trh (the Vegetable Market) you can look up at a statue of a naked Mozart. There are two rather inconspicuous sculptures by Jiří Marek and a hard-to-miss clock on náměstí Svobody (Freedom Square). From Malinovského náměstí (Malinovsky Square), with its four giant intertwined bulbs, it is just a few steps to the memorial located at the beginning of Rooseveltova Street that is dedicated to three Czechoslovak resistance movements.
Every second year, in cooperation with Dům umění města Brna (the Brno House of Arts), the municipal authorities prepare a unique project called Sochy v ulicích (Sculptures in the Street) – Brno Art Open. In summer, various installations of contemporary art appear in the streets. The goal of this exhibition is to introduce a quality set of sculptures by selected artists to the citizens of Brno as well as to tourists. The project in 2017 will make the effort’s sixth biennale, this time named Dichtung und Wahrheit (German for Poetry and Truth, the title of Goethe’s autobiography).
Parts of tour
Courage/Odvaha (Jaroslav Róna)
One of Brno’s newest statues, and quite a conversation piece
Jan Skácel (Jiří Sobotka)
Statue of the poet, writer, and translator unveiled in 2016
Mozart (Kurt Gebauer)
Over 2 metres tall, with a child’s body and an adult’s head
Red Army Soldier/Rudoarmějec (Vincenc Makovský)
A bronze statue in the eastern part of the square since 1955
Cunning Little Vixen/Socha lišky Bystroušky (Jiří Marek)
The main character from Leoš Janáček’s world-famous opera
Mime/Mim (Jiří Marek)
The 1986 statue stands in front of a health centre
Tribute to T. A. Edison/Pocta T. A. Edisonovi (Tomáš Medek)
In commemoration of Europe’s first electrically lit theatre
Justice/Spravedlnost (Marius Kotrba)
The sculpture brought more controversy to Moravian Square
Clock Machine/Hodinový stroj (Oldřich Rujbr, Petr Kameník)
The clock machine is Brno’s most controversial ‘sculpture’
Memorial of Three Resistance Movements/Památník tří odbojů (Michal Gabriel)
Space dedicated to victims of 20th-century wars and regimes
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