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"Quo Vadis?", David Cerny. German Embassy, Praha,

Fotoeins Friday: “Quo Vadis?” (Where are you going?)

For weeks in late-summer 1989, refugees from East Germany seeking a way out to the West streamed into Prague, and thousands occupied the modest garden at the back of the Palais Lobkowitz, home of the then West German Embassy. A dramatic episode in European history culminated on 30 September 1989, as West German Foreign Minister Genscher addressed the crowds, granting them passage and asylum in West Germany. People left behind countless numbers of Trabant cars, a symbol of industry and productivity in East Germany.

Czech artist David Černý created a sculpture of a Trabant standing on four giant legs, in tribute to those who left their lives to escape East Germany. Called “Quo Vadis?” (Where are you going?), the sculpture resides in the very same garden of the Palais Lobkowitz, now home of the Embassy of the (reunited) Federal Republic of Germany. (2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Wall.)

The sculpture is listed on this Czech website listing places commemorating Communist rule.


Walk uphill on Vlašská street in Prague’s Malá Strana. When a hospital (Nemocnice Milosrdných Sester sv. Karla Boromejského v Praze) appears on the right and an open portal to a children’s park is on the left, make a left turn from Vlašská onto the path to walk past the park. At the end of the path, turn left again. The high metal fence of the German Embassy will be on your left, and the foot of Petřín hill is on the right. After walking halfway along the fence, you’ll see the sculpture “parked” in the back garden with accompanying signage in Czech and German. The original sculpture now resides in the collection of the Zeitgeschichtliches Forum (Forum of Contemporary History) in Leipzig, Germany.

I made the photo above on 17 March 2010 at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Prague (Velvyslanectví Spolkové Republiky Německo). I used a Canon 450D and 70-300 zoom-lens with the following settings: 1/30s, f/8, ISO400, 275mm focal length (440mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at as

5 Responses to “Fotoeins Friday: “Quo Vadis?” (Where are you going?)”

    • fotoeins

      Hi and thanks, Eileen. I’ve just written another post about the events in Prague on 30 September 1989. With this 25th anniversary, there’s a lot to go through and understand events surrounding and leading to the fall of the Wall. Thanks for reading and for your comment!


  1. Marisol@TravelingSolemates

    Hi Henry, 1989 was the year before I moved from the Philippines to New York. I still remember well the great events that were taking place in Europe then, especially The Fall of The Wall. What a moment in history to live through.
    Cerny’s sculpture is very interesting but learning what it stands for makes it a more profound piece. I wish I was aware of it during the times I visited Prague. But I did see Cerny’s other works like the babies and the pissing men.


    • fotoeins

      Hi, Maria. It’s too bad the gardens themselves aren’t open to the public. David Cerny’s art is always thoughtful: often cheeky, sometimes creepy. There’s very little middle ground to opinion when it comes to his work. Thanks for your comment!


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