Located in the north side of Vitava River where gigantic Stalin statue used to stand. Construction completed on May 1, 1955 by Otakar Svec who committed suicide on the day before it debuted. It was built to watch the Czech people's every move and exert control over the Soviet satellite. It was blown up and destroyed in 1962 by Moscow's order during a process of de-Stalinization. In 1991, Vratislav Novák made a massive metronome on its base for a reminder of communism oppression.
Backstory and Context
The 50 meter high 17000 ton granite Stalin leading his workers in line stood on the Letna Hill for seven years from 1955 to 1962. It took 5 years and 6 months and 600 men and women to construct to honor the Soviet Communist party chief Josef Stalin. The sculptor was Otakar Scec (23 November 1892 – 3 March 1955), who killed himself a day before its debut. However, Nikita Khrushchev took over Stalin in 1953, and the statue was destroyed just seven years later in 1962. Since it was too heavy to displaced, it was blown up in pieces by 800 Kg of dynamite.
The pedestal stayed and now a giant metronome stands in its place. The metronome was designed by Vratislav Novak. Novak was born in Prague in 1942 and died in 2014. He was a metal artist and designed and constructed the Prague Metronome in 1991 for a reminder of people’s struggle of communism. He became famous for mainly his mobile metal sculpture at the end of the 1960s. In the 1980s, he started making larger objects like steal cars. Since the 1990s, he developed kinetic sculptures. The Prague Metronome maybe the most famous Novak product. He also made jewelries.
The Prague Metronome is 23 meters (75 feet) tall and supposed to be functioning; however, the e-bike tour guide, Gary told us that the metronome stopped moving in the last week of June. It was still malfunctioned as of July 8. The site is a meeting place and skate board park for young people, and Letna Park is most famous for the scenic view overlooking Prague and beer garden.
Atlas Obsucra. Prague Metronome. . . https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/prague-metronome.
Stalin Monument (Prague). Wikipedia. . . https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalin_Monument_(Prague).
Vratislav Karel Novák. Artlist. . . https://www.artlist.cz/en/vratislav-karel-novak-100875/.