Life under communism could be somewhat drab, so an effort was made following the Velvet Revolution to add some quirkiness to the centre of Bratislava. The method of choice was some truly down to earth statues, monuments of ordinary individuals doing ordinary things as opposed to the grand memorials of the Soviet-inspired decades. Many of these remain on the streets of the city today, and the stories that inspired them are almost as fascinating as the statues themselves.
The most famous is undoubtedly the ‘Man At Work’, although he doesn’t seem to be getting a huge amount of work done at all. Named Čamil, this cheeky chap peers out from a manhole in the centre of town, although some believe he was something of a leery old man.
Then there are the two girls sat idly on top and underneath a legitimate postbox, taking a break from doing whatever it is young people do. A Napoleonic soldier follows this same form, leaning on a bench as the city goes about its business. Another old statue was of a sneaky paparazzi, although this monument can now be found in the bar of the UFO restaurant.
Our favourite of the statues has to be the only one dedicated to an actual former living person. Ignac Lamar was a noted Bratislava dandy, a clown with a charm as wide as his smile, and the Schöner Náci statue does a fine line in mimicking this famous character. So shake the dandy’s hand, snap a picture, and see if you can find all the unusual statues in the centre of Bratislava.