When you think of a country that’s weird, one of the first that pops up would probably be Japan.
How could you not when they’re known to have annual festivals dedicated to male genitalia and vending machines with used panties?
But in the depths of Europe, there actually lies another country that could be a major contender to the title of “weirdest”. And when I say weird, I mean the “Am I having a nightmare or is this reality?” sort of weird
Let’s take a little tour down the streets of Prague, where citizens are used to seeing strange sights and the strange stories that accompany it, and you can judge for yourself if the title is deserved.
1) Giant Babies
Babies are generally adored, and most people would consider them cute. However, these baby sculptures in Prague aren’t the norm.
10 giant babies can be spotted crawling up Prague’s largest tower, the Zizkov Television Tower. The babies symbolise those unable to reach adulthood during the communist era, their growth stifled by this landmark of dictatorship.
If for some reason you’d want a closer look, there are also bronze versions of these babies on the grounds of Kampa Museum.
2) Memorial of the Communism Victims
The Memorial of the Communism Victims is a series of statues located at the base of Petrin Hill and was unveiled in 2002, 12 years after the fall of communism.
It shows 7 bronze figures descending down a flight of stairs where they appear to be more “decayed” the further they are from you. Some of them have lost limbs while others have their bodies breaking open, symbolising the political prisoners affected by the communism.
3) Dripstone Wall
Inside Wallenstein Palace’s massive gardens is an area known as “The Grotto”, said to have an eerily unreal landscape. Part of that includes a creepy decor known as the Dripstone Wall.
Upon closer investigation, you can see that the wall is made from a haunting assemblage of stalactite-like rocks.
The signboards around mention that if you stare hard enough, you can make out human and animal faces peering out from within the wall’s recesses.
For mystery seekers, there’s said to be secret passageways in the Dripstone Wall but no one has managed to find a way in even after 500 years.
If you’re near the Nové Butovice metro station, be mindful of what you’re doing.
Prominently displayed, a giant robot named Trifot has eyeballs that move around and they’re not just decorative. The 40-foot-tall statue’s bulging eyes swivel about independently, watching passersby.
If caught, you might just find yourself broadcast onto one of six monitors in the area.
The sculpture is said to be built in reference to a George Orwell novel titled 1984, set in a dystopian future of unchecked government surveillance. Trifot also references the terrifying alien technology in H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds.
However, the artist behind this sculpture simply states it’s meant to honor the observational art of photography, although those passing by might have different opinions.
5) Museum Of Toilets
Here’s a worthy addition to unusual museums around the world. You can probably guess what you’ll see at the Museum of Historical Chamber Pots and Toilets..
The collection includes about 2,000 pieces and is the largest of its kind in the world.
Apparently, the aim of the exhibition is to present the artistic and utilitarian level of the objects themselves while showing the history of human waste disposal.
Among some of the unique items in the collection are chamber pots made for Napoleon Bonaparte, the Titanic, the Lincoln Bedroom at the White House.
Just don’t give the displays a try while you’re there. That’s not what they’re for anymore.
6) Quo Vadis
The Quo Vadis is a tribute to the 4,000 East Germans who travelled to the West German embassy in Prague to seek asylum in 1989.
They had to leave their cars behind as they fled to the west.
The sculpture made its first appearance in 1991 in the city’s old town square. Now it is a permanent fixture in the garden of Prague’s Federal German Republic Embassy.
7) Prague Astronomical Clock
If you’re a fan of the Brothers Grimm, you’d agree that the Astronomical Clock seems like it came from their imagination.
The legend says that it was created by an extraordinary inventor who got blinded by the Prague Councilors so no other nation could have a better clock. He took his own life by throwing himself into the astronomical clock as revenge.
It is one of the most well-known astronomical clocks in the world and with good reason. It has four moving automatons, rotating statues of the 12 apostles, and shows the moon’s phases and the sun’s journey through the constellations of the zodiac.
8) Café Louvre
Back in the day, cafes were literary landmarks in Prague. One of the popular ones was Cafe Louvre, which first opened in 1902.
Iconic people such as Franz Kafka and Albert Einstein frequented the café as it made a great meeting place for academicians to mingle.
It was the first electrified café, transitioning away from candles to electric bulbs, and was also the first to offer a salon for women to meet up. The café reopened in 1992 and has since been popular with locals and visitors.
9) Speculum Alchemiae
The center of Prague houses a library hiding an underground laboratory which was re-discovered after a massive flood in 2002.
The lab gives a little preview of Prague’s occult history where experiments were conducted and were hidden from the eyes of authorities back in the day.
There, you’d find crucibles used to turn lead into gold, a mummified crocodile, and a tunnel that offers a safe escape in the woods out of the city.
10) Sedlec Ossuary
A.K.A, the Bone Church.
In Kutna Hora lies a small chapel that is adorned with skeletons of between 40,000 and 70,000 people. They are artistically arranged to form decorations and furnishings.
700 years ago, the head of the Sedlec monastery made the cemetery a desirable burial site through a religious holy act. During the peak of the plague in the mid-1300s, approximately thousands of people were buried there.
When a Gothic church was built in 1400, thousands of exhumed bones were stacked in the middle of the chapel during construction. They were left there until 1870 when artist Frantisek Rint was hired to put the bones in order, resulting in the chapel you see today.
Experience These Unique Attractions Yourself
Now you can probably agree with us that Prague is a rather eccentric country, and there are more bizarre attractions we didn’t include in here.
So here’s how you can go there and see them all yourself.
Being a member of Skyteam, they fly to over 1052 destination in 177 countries, and now Malaysians have the option to fly to Prague with fares starting from RM888 (excluding taxes)!
You can find out more information about the flights here or contact the China Eastern Airlines Kuala Lumpur Sales office at 03-21611666.
This article was written in collaboration with China Eastern Airlines.
Feature Image Credit: daudio marchini @ flickr.com