Franz Kafka Rotating Head

All You Need To Know

The famous Rotating Head of Franz Kafka was built by David Cerny in 2014 and cost 30 million Czech crowns, invested by CPI Property Group and nearby Quadrion Shopping Center.

Franz Kafka's head consists of 42 rotating layers making it 11m tall. Kafka Head is made of 24 tons of stainless steel and weighs a total of 39 tons. Its mobility is ensured by motor modules, which are connected by a kilometer of cables. All layers of the statue can rotate independently of each other. Their maximum revolving speed of each layer is 6 RPM.

This complex mechanic marvel of Prague New Town might seem like a bizarre homage to the Bohemian-born writer Franz Kafka. However, getting familiar with his work will only prove that there could not have been a better way to portray what was going on in Kafka's head. It will be an understatement to say that Kafka was troubled by life, so ever-turning reflective pieces of the writer's statue seem to emphasize his inability to comprehend the world and its strange laws.

It has been also pointed out that the rotation of the Kafka's Head steal layers resembles the cogs of the Astronomical Clock. Another great metaphor on Kafka's life found itself in this moving sculpture - "a cog in the vast bureaucratic machine of the modern society."

 

Our Local Guide Tip

  • Hunt down other David Cerny’s sculptures around Prague. He is quite a popular and controversial contemporary Czech artist, so looking for his statues won't be a difficult task. Plus, we think that this is another great way to see Prague. Here are some of the sculptures to look for: “Piss” located in Mala Strana, “Crawling Babies” in Kampa island, “ Quo Vadis”, “ Brouk”, “Horse” in Lucerna Palace, and others. He has a weird-looking sculpture on a permanent exhibition at Futura Gallery in Prague.

 

How Often Does The Kafka Statue Move?

  • Just like thoughts in a head, the statue of Franz Kafka rotates on its own when it pleases. This makes it even more interesting to watch!

 

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Author: Nicolas Cortes, Prague guide certified by Prague City Tourism agency. Nicolas has worked in tourism for over 6 years and has guided thousands of Prague visitors.