Letná Park sits on high overlooking the Vltava River; it gives great views over the graceful Baroque spires of Prague’s Staré Město (Old Town), and is well know for its beer gardens, bars and picnic spots. The top of Letná Hill was once adorned with a 30-ft (9.2-m), 17,000-ton statue built in homage to Joseph Stalin, which was unveiled in 1955 while Bohemia was under Soviet rule. By 1962, however, Stalin had fallen from favor and his successor Nikita Khrushchev had the statue blown up. Its plinth was left empty for nearly 30 years, but eventually Czech artist Vratislav Novák designed and constructed a massive, functioning metronome and it was placed on the plinth in 1991. Today it is a well-loved landmark on Prague’s skyline.
Novák’s triangular metronome has a bright-red arm that is 75 ft (23 m) long and is clearly visible from Prague Castle as well as the river and its bridges below. The graffiti-strewn area immediately surrounding the metronome is popular as a skate park with the youth of the city, and it also serves as a viewing point and as a photographic backdrop for visitors on cycling, electric scooter and Segway tours of the city. At night the installation is illuminated and can be spotted after dark from boats cruising along the river.
The metronome is open 24/7. Admission is free. For transportation, take Metro Line A to Malostranská or trams 1, 8, 25 or 26 to Letenské náměstí.