Erected in Letna

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Spring has sprung, not in a Robert Frost sense of "darting birds... and happy bees/...dilating 'round the perfect trees". No, for us Spring is slinking out of hibernation and beginning to erect itself through the opening of the beer garden at Letna Park.

Letna Park is a lovely green space (well, brown space right now) that sits atop a hill overlooking the Vltava River and central Prague. It's laced with walking paths, sculptures and bits of playground equipment, and years ago, I saw former President Vaclav Havel strolling there! Today it's most famous for an outdoor beer garden and super views of the city...

...but years ago, it was home to the largest monument to Stalin in the world. See the ticking metronome in the pavilion-turned-skatepark below? That's where Stalin, leading a band of loyal workers, stood for 7 years, overlooking the city of Prague.

Here's a photo taken from the side of the since-demolished statue.

Courtesy of
Apparently it was scornfully called "fronta na maso", or, in English, "the line for meat", alluding to food shortages at the time. It was blown up in 1962.

But the metronome wasn't the only thing to stand in the same spot; a 35-foot water-filled rubber "statue" of Michael Jackson was also planted there briefly for the kickoff of his 1996 HIStory world tour. Who's bad?

Courtesy of


  1. Now the weather has improved, Letná Park is a wonderful place through which to walk, taking in the great views across Prague before enjoying a 'cool glass of something' in the beer garden. I do find the metronome slightly incongruous but I guess finding anything suitable to put on that massive plinth where the Stalin statue once stood, was going to be an impossible task. Whilst I knew & had written about the Stalin statue, , I had never heard about or seen the water-filled 'statue' of Michael Jackson. Many thanks for the information and the photograph.

  2. I happened upon the MJ information while randomly searching for "Letna Park Statue" on the internet. It seems even the Thriller-loving Czechs were mostly not supportive of the move to place the Prince of Pop there. What an odd happening!


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