praha.eu | magistrat.praha.eu | pis.cz
This content requires Adobe Flash Player and a browser with JavaScript enabled.
Built on Flash Panorama Player.

Metronome

GPS: 50°5'40.56"N, 14°24'57.96"E

One of the most beautiful views of the river Vltava, some of its bridges and of the Old Prague Town in particular is from the top of Letná, from the landing where there used to stand the monumental memorial to generalissimo Josif Visarionovič Stalin. View from this place is especially captivating in the evening illumination. 

Stalin’s memorial on the edge of the Letná Plain, standing in the axis of the existing stairs and the bridge of Svatopluk Čech really could not be omitted; it was constructed of 226 blocks of Liberec granite of many tons. It was standing on a pedestal with height of 15 m, the sculpture itself was 15, 5 m high, 22 m long and it had weight of 15 000 tons.  Behind Stalin, on his right there were standing the representatives of the Czechoslovak nation: a worker, a woman working in agriculture, a technician – an inventor and a soldier. On his left there are representatives of the Soviet nation: a worker – a standard bearer, a scientist – a michurinist, a female member of collective farm and a Red Army soldier. In the surroundings there were planted trees and bushes, which were brought there from the Stalin’s native country, Georgia. Among 54 competing designs for the memorial, the winning one was that by sculptor Otakar Švec and architects Jiří and Vlasta Štursas. The ceremonious unveiling took place on 1st May 1955.

The memorial did not stand for a long time above Prague. After the Stalin’s personality cult was revealed as well as his crimes against his own nation, the memorial was partially dismounted in autumn 1962 and then it was blown down. It must be said that it was a difficult technical task.

 

Large underground areas below the memorial were used as potato storage and for other purposes as well. The idea of establishment of a huge oceanarium in this place has been considered for several years.

On the occasion of General Czechoslovak exhibition in 1991 there was placed a kinetic sculpture, a huge time pendulum, a metronome, in the place of the former memorial. Its basis is a triangular pyramid, which carries a pendulum, 25 m long with swing of sixty degrees. Balance is provided by a two-ton balance arm. Author of the sculpture, which weighs about six tons, is academic sculptor, professor Vratislav Karel Dvořák.