Sculptures old and new, statuaries and relieves made by artists of varied qualities, works of art made from stone, metal, wood, ceramics, concrete or other suitable material; works intended to be memorials or simply adornments making their imprint on their own or in union with architecture - we can meet all this while having a stroll through Piešťany. The goal of this short guide is not to offer complex view over all pieces of plastic art in the town nor to comment on their artistic values. The following selection only desires to direct one's attention to the presence of sculptures in various town parts - in parks, streets, plazas, other various public or semi-public areas; and, some of them to point at and describe. And, to remind the significance of outdoor sculpture exhibitions that later became known as The Statues of Piešťany Parks; just this resource enriched the town as well as the Spa with number of valuable sculptures in the second half of the last century.
Two jack laggings (136, Štefánikova Street). They originate from the perished Middle Ages gothic cloister temple - probably of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem - in Detvianska Street. Later, the jack laggings were set in the face side of the parsonage gate pillars later. On one jack lagging, Jesus Christ's head is pictured; the other one is skilfully decorated with plant leaves ornaments. The jack laggings are the oldest examples of artistic sculpture craft in Piešťany.
"The Roadside Statue of St. Vendelin" (Roman Catholic church consecrated to St. Steven the King, 138 Štefánikova Street) - cultural landmark. The sandstone statue - saint with a little lamb and calf at his feet - was made by an anonymous folk artist and represents the early sacral "folk Baroque style" works in Piešťany. The inscription reads: "SANCTE WENDELINE ORA PRO NOBIS..." and the year 1760. St. Vendelin - the shepherds´ patron saint - belonged to saints beloved by the whole Slovak countryside; his statues were often coated with polychromes. In this case, the original colours were not retained - a coat of white colour replaced the polychromes.
"The Roadside Statue of St. Florin" (Roman Catholic church St. Steven the King, 138 Štefánikova Street) - cultural landmark. This work by an anonymous artist with "Baroque feel" is placed on a column which has the following inscription engraved on its plinth "S. Floriane ora pro nobis" and year 1764. This early Christian martyr was killed in the 4th century; he is worshipped as a guardian against the fire, he is the patron of firemen, chimney sweepers and masons. He is usually depicted as a Roman soldier pouring water over a house on fire.
"Stone Cross with the Crucified", the Virgin Mary statue at the Cross's toe (Roman Catholic church St. Steven the King, 138 Štefánikova Street). Baroque sandstone composition, work by unknown artist, was created in 1791. It has primacy among the "migrating" sacral statues considering the number of the places it stood at. Originally, the cross was placed in the present Beethovenova Street, next to the St. Jan Nepomuk Chapel built in Baroque style and which doesn't exist anymore; the next stop was in Vila Klára neighbourhood; from there, it was moved to St. Steven church in the 50´s of the last century.
"The St. Trinity column" (Roman Catholic church St. Steven the King, 138 Štefánikova Street). It was made by an anonymous artist with Classicistic feel. It stands in its original place as the only one from all the statues found today in the church vicinity. From the inscription "KE CTI A CHVALE BOSKEG POLOŽENA 1833 / Z. M. L. R." the time connection with the church consecration is apparent. It was one from two memorials dedicated to the Saint Trinity in the same year.
"Pieta" (Roman Catholic church St. Steven the King, 138 Štefánikova Street). On the plinth face side of Our Lady of Sorrows with the dead Jesus Christ statuary, the statue of St. Jan Nepomuk stands on the column bracket. The sandstone composition was probably made by a professional artist, as it was said, in the middle of the 19th century. Before it was moved to church, it was standing in the Spa Island, incorporated into the live green fence of the Thermia Palace Hotel garden.
"The memorial to Madonna of the Rosary" (Roman Catholic church St. Steven the King, 138 Štefánikova Street). Originally, it stood in the Town Park, next to villa "Cmunt" (today "Berlin"). Painted in white colour, the statue, said to be made from marble, is miniaturised reproduction of a Lourdes prototype. As the inscription from 1890, in Polish, says "Na wiekszą chwalę Boga / w dowod zywej wiary / i najgłębszej czci i / synowskiej wdzięcznośći / dla / najświętszej Maryi Panny / Królowej nieba / za doznane laski / postawił laski / Mateusz Ceglecki / właściciel dobr ziemskich / w Galicyi"; the memorial was ordered by Mateusz Cegelski who underwent treatment in Piešťany, became healthy again and wanted to thank to Madonna for his recovering.
"Roadside Statue of St. Jan Nepomuk" (Roman Catholic church St. Steven the King, 138 Štefánikova Street), placed on a plinth, originates from 1896. The work by unknown folk artist, made from sandstone, likely with polychrome surface in the past. The popular Czech saint, worshipped as the protector against floods, defender of good reputation, patron of discretion and confessional secrecy, as well as patron saint to millers and rafters, is depicted in liturgical vestment with a cross or a palm branch in his arms and with five stars around his head covered with beret. He died as martyr in 1393.
"Memorial Tablet to St. Steven the King" church construction (138 Štefánikova Street, church vestibule) - cultural landmark. The Latin inscription contains chronogram (the date), encrypted in the text, emphasized by large letters which are identical with the Roman numbers. In this case it was the year 1831. Opposite the tablet, a wooden cross with body of the Crucified is on the wall. It is a remarkable carving work from the first half of the 20th century.
"Stone cross with the Crucified" (Žilinská Street, next to the cemetery), from 1779, is the second oldest from around ten roadside stone crosses in situ. (The oldest from 1753, without the original statue of the Crucified, can be found in the junction of Družobná and Dudvážska Streets, in the isolated town part - former village Kocurice which used to be independent settlement. Probably the third oldest, from 1783, is in the crossroad of Sládkovičova and Tatarkova Streets). The sculptor, as it is with the majority of historical sacral sculptures, was anonymous folk artist. The surface of the sandstone is not painted over.
"The Saint Trinity Column (Vrbovská Street). This one is the most richly expanded columns from three local memorials built to the glory of the Most Saint Trinity. Rich, Baroque three plate column, oriented in three directions, this architectural - sculptural composition with poles, niches, pillions and generous ornaments, is work of an unknown artist. Year 1831, mentioned in one of the inscriptions, is the date of its rise.
"The Main Cross" (the cemetery in Kocurice). Stone cross with the corpus and unusual duo of adoring statues - Virgin Mary and St. Jan Nepomuk - in its plinth. Vaclav Rympler, the Piešťany major stone sculptor (1883 - 1949), made it in 1927. Even that the cross is young in comparison with the cemetery age (the oldest tombstone is from 1876), unusual constellation of the characters - the exchange of St. John the Evangelist for St. Jan Nepomuk - makes it an interesting phenomenon among sacral statues.
"The statues of Greco - Roman Gods" (Spa Island, park before the Thermia Palace Hotel) - cultural landmark. Human in size and classicistic form, four gods are portrayed: goddess of flowers Chloris - Flora, god of trade Hermes - Mercury, goddess of wisdom Pallas Athena - Minerva and goddess of harvest Demeter - Ceres. An anonymous sculptor made them from sandstone at the beginning of the 19th century (Hermes is dated 1803). The statues were moved to Piešťany from the mansion in Kráľová pri Senici in 1942. In the beginning, they adorned the Thermia Palace garden. They were placed in their present position in the second half of the 20th century. They were declared national cultural memorial No. 10701/1 - 4 in 1992.
"Najada" (Spa Island 2, at the outdoor thermal pool, separated part of the Thermia Palace Hotel garden) - cultural landmark. An alloy statue of a nymph with a fish in its raised right hand and full net over its left arm is a work by unidentified sculptor likely from 1859. In 2001, along with "Najada", the interior marble statues: Three Graces, Aphrodite, A girl's head and as well as a collection of Art Nouveau wooden brackets with bronze female torsos, all from Thermia Palace Hotel, were enlisted into the central register of the Slovak Landmark Fund in 2001.
"Relief hermas on the facades of the Spa Parlour or Kursalon" (5 Beethovenova Street) - cultural landmark. Architect Ignac Alpar (1855 - 1928) was the author of the building design; the decorations were made in serial production as pre-moulded pieces. They were dated 1894. In the nearby Winterova Street, it is worth noticing the statues and relief on the facade of the Neo Gothic chapel No. 74 from 1897, next to the Colonnade Bridge, as well as two younger Art Nouveau female statues on the facade of the building No 36, the "Julia's Court".
"The Austrian Empress and Queen Elisabeth's bust" (4 Spa Island). The author of the sculptural portrait of the second last Lorraine - Hapsburg emperor's wife (1837 - 1898) was Budapest sculptor Gyula Jankovics (1865 - 1932) although, in the literature, Fadrusz is cited often as the author. The bust from Carrara marble, placed on a plinth, was unveiled August, 10. 1902 in the Beethovenova Street axis, between the building with the former Spa headquarters and the book store (in general, in the place of the former and torn down St. Jan Nepomuk Baroque chapel). After the fall of the Empire, the bust started to "drift"; the present, really not the optimal, location in the left niche in the balneotherapy building Irma might be not the final.
"The Heads of a Man and Woman" (98 Pod Párovcami Street). Two heads in life size, maybe from sandstone but most likely ceramic, are on the gate posts of a rich farmer's house built some century ago. L´Art Brut artisan depicted the former homestead owners and thanks to their descendants sensitive approach, the faces painted over with oil colour withstood all the plots of wars and modernisation obsessed 20th century until today, as the only example of its kind in Piešťany.
"Crutch Breaker" (72 Winterova Street) - cultural landmark. The bronze statue was cased according to design by sculptor Robert Kühmayer (1883 - 1962). It was installed as part of the bridge portal in 1933. The Crutch Breaker became a significant advertising phenomenon for the Spa and, after Piešťany was declared a City, it became the town coat-of-arms. Undoubtedly, it is the most known and most photographed Piešťany statue.
"Boy with Fish" and "Boy with Hare" (Thermia Palace Hotel, next to the fountain, 2 Spa Island). Bratislava sculptor Alojz Rigele (1879 - 1940) created them from white marble in the first third of the 20th century. He also is the author of a statue with Leona Winter's face found next to Winter family grave in the cemetery, Bratislavská Road.
"Memorial to Professor Karel Domin" (Spa Island, Domin Parade and central alley junction). Karel Domin, Professor from Charles University in Prague, wrote, among other specialised studies on the local flora, his core work "Piešťany flora"(1931). This event is commemorated by three tablets with identical text in Slovak, English and German and they are set in the wall of a stone landing. They were unveiled during the 5th general assembly of the Piešťany Museum Society in July, 24 1935 while the Professor was still alive.
"Memorial to WW I victims" (Štefánikova Street, opposite the Roman-Catholic church St. Steven the King). Sculpture - architectural work from sandstone by the local native, sculptor Valér Vavro (1911 - 1991), made in 1937. Statuary of Jesus Christ and a mother grieving over the dead body of her son is erected on a massive plinth. On its three sides, black marble tablets with names of 175 fallen Piešťany residents are set in.
The statue "Harvest"(A. Kmeť Park, before the main entrance to Museum, Kursalon or Spa Parlour building), was made in 1937. Its creator, sculptor V. Vavro, showed his respect commemorating his prematurely deceased friend, painter Zolo Palugyay (1898 - 1935) who was one from a group of artists with special relationship to Piešťany. The sandstone female is somehow unofficial memorial to unaccomplished effort to create an artist colony in Piešťany. It is an example of the master's early works along the memorial to WW I victims.
"Memorial to Ludwig van Beethoven" (A. Kmeť Park) - cultural landmark. It is dated 1939, its creator was sculptor Ladislav Ľ. Pollák (1912 - 2002). The impulse for the memorial inception was hypothesis about possible Beethoven's visit to Piešťany during his stay with family Brunswick in nearby village Dolná Krupá (1801 - 1802).
"Memorial to fallen Romanian Soldiers" (Žilinská Road) - cultural landmark. In its essence, an architectural creation reminding of great contributions made to Piešťany liberation in April 1945 by Romanian Army is work by Romanian author E. Ciuco. The inscriptions were made in Slovak and Romanian languages. The memorial was erected even before the end of 1945; the area was remade in the 80 ´s of the 20th century following the project by Ing. A. Stašková.
"Memorial to Adam Trajan from Benešov" (A. Kmeť Park) - cultural landmark. The oversized sandstone statue, on a plinth from the same material, represents the Latin ode author "Saluberrimae Pistinienses Thermae". He was the first to pay tribute to healing Piešťany springs in such way in 1642. The poet who fled Bohemia after the Battle of Biela Hora (probably in 1586), found refuge in nearby Drahovce where he worked as pastor. The memorial was unveiled in 1948 and his creator was L. Ľ. Pollák.
The fountain "Boys with Fish" (before the Cultural and Social Centre Fontána, 1 Beethovenova Street). Traditionally taken conception is reflected in this work by sculptor L. Ľ. Pollák. Made in 1956, it is partially from fine sandstone and partially from cased artificial stone. The fountain belongs to the top creations of this prolific artist who lived and worked in Piešťany till his death in 2002. There are several other works by this sculptor not that far from the fountain, in Town Park and Winterova Street: memorial to Piešťany pilots who fought in the Slovak National Uprising, Beethoven's Memorial, and Memorial to poet A. Trajan, Ĺ. Winter's tablet.
"The Lovers" (A. Kmeť Park). The statuary cased in bronze, work by sculptor Alexander Trizuljak (1921 - 1990), came to Piešťany in 1961. The exhibition of works by this artist became the beginning of traditional outdoor exhibitions that continued almost till the turn of millennium in Piešťany parks. In the park, next to the House of Arts, there is another stone statue by the same name. This work by Bulgarian sculptor J. Boškova is a little bit younger (1963 - 1964).
"Relief Torso of a Woman" (separate part of the Thermia Palace Hotel garden, 2 Spa Island) is another work by A. Trizuljak. It is carved into 180 cm high block of white marble. Originally installed in close vicinity of the Spa headquarters in Beethoven Street at the occasion of the author's outdoor exhibition in 1961. Similar to statuary "Lovers", it represents the sculptor's lyrical part of his works.
"The Bull"(A. Kmeť Park). Welded metal sculpture by J. Bezák (1963) was acquired by town as gift, after the Piešťany Parks exhibition closure in 1964 when sculptors - students were displaying their works. After several changes of its location, "The Bull" found its permanent place in the last quarter of the 20th century.
"Sĺňava"(area of the outdoor thermal pool, next to Splendid Spa Hotel, 32 Spa Island). Sculptural impersonification of the water reservoir on the River Váh was made in 1964. In 1967, its creator, sculptor V. Vavro, presented it to the public at the I. Slovak Sculpture Triennials "The Statues in Piešťany Parks". A female figure, getting up, carved in white marble, remains a remark of birth and naming of this important water work, next to Piešťany (1956 - 1960).
"Family" (Beethovenova and Winterova Street junction). The sculptor Ladislav Snopek (*1919) is the creator of a bronze composition in hugely oversized proportions consisting from three figures - parents with a child. The statuary is placed in a triangular park-like area gained after an older building was removed from there; the statuary is property of the City of Piešťany since 1966.
"The Stone for Meditation" (A. Kmeť Park, next to amphitheatre). A tufa object by Austrian sculptor Karl Prantl (*1923) is not really well placed; it came from the exhibition The Statue of Piešťany Parks 1969. It belongs to a group of works which demonstrate international character of the local parks sculptural trimmings. In the same time, the Town acquired also the concrete "Decomposed Steal" by the German author Werner Schreib (*1925) which is placed in the Rose Garden, Town Park.
"Joyful Youth" (A. Hlinka Street, northwest intra bloc area). Several factors - long lasting material, form, placement next to playground - widen the base adornment function of the statuary by another dimension and allow the children to discover its different potential as a jungle gym and use it in various ways to enliven their plays. This work by V. Vavro from 1969 belongs to those improving blocs of flats inner areas built after the WW II.
"Woman" (26, Spa Island, in one of the balneotherapy atriums, next to the Spa Hotel Palace). Bronze figure is slim, 217 cm tall, from 1971. In his works, the sculptor Pavol Tóth (1928 - 1988) was successful to display graphic expression based on modelling purity and forms reduction that remains of sculptural archetype. Another of his bronze works depicting a woman is installed before the Palace Hotel entrance.
"Six styled Animal Plastics" (Staničná and A. Hlinka Street junction, in the fenced off greenery). The City of Piešťany acquired this metal work with emphasized colours by sculptor Vladimír Kompánek (*1927) in 1973; their goal was to adorn the new kindergarten playgrounds or the public playing fields for children. The Kompánek´s works were in certain sense the sculpture equivalent to Fulla paintings.
Wooden plastics (ground of the former Teplický cemetery, Štúrova Street). In the second half of the 20th century, several large wooden statues were installed in the park; suburban or other decorative greenery which were made during cyclical symposiums devoted to sculptures in the village Moravany upon River Váh or were acquired from the exhibitions "Statue of Piešťany Parks". Three works in Štúrova Street are by Anna Goliášová-Drobná ("The Flower of Gratefulness", 1974), František Šándor ("Poetry", 1977) and Dušan Pončák ("The Animal", 1978). They all suffer from bad weather conditions like other improperly installed wooden artefacts and their fate seems to be oblivion.
"Ode to the Joy" (A. Kmeť Park, before the House of Arts). The statue was born in 1980 after the sculptor Emil Venkov´s (*1934) design. This tall metal supplement of the House of Arts area is efficient attention draw card which lures even a coincidental visitor to the gravity field of this "culture altar".
"The Mountains"(the area of the former Teplický cemetery, Štúrova Street). This variable earthenware plastic was created as competition work in 1982 - 1983. It was presented to public during the exhibition Statue in Piešťany Parks in 1984. Apart of its decorative function, it is used (or it should) as convertible slide for children. (Its miniaturised version serves as interior decoration.) Its creator, graphic artist Lubomír Jakubčík (*1926) lives in Piešťany since 1968; he works with ceramics, earthenware and china.
"Mother" (Town Park area next to Park Avenue Hotel, 3 Beethovenova Street). The author L. Jakubčík made this piece from glazed earthenware (1982 - 1983). In the time this figural work was installed, the building served as children's hospital, and the statue leitmotif corresponded to the function of the building. The original building use also explains the placement of the sandstone plastic "Fairytale" by V. Vavro (1963), before the face wall.
"The Flowers for the Liberation" (26 Spa Island, in one of the balneotherapy atriums, next to Spa Palace Hotel). Nine objects from glazed earthenware, works by sculptor - ceramics maker Mira Trančíková (*1939). This maker of several awards winning works (they were presented in the 80´s of the 20th century during the course of exhibitions Statue of Piešťany Parks) is represented with other creations in the parks in Spa Island and town; among others, noticeable earthenware set of seats.
Architect Emil Belluš´s bust (15 Kukučínova Street, the Main Post Office lobby). The bronze portrait of the leading Slovak architect and university professor (1899 - 1979) is by sculptor A. Trizuljak. E. Belluš was, apart of other works, the author of projects for Colonnade Bridge and the main Post Office building. The bust was created while E. Belluš was still alive and was installed in 1999 during the celebrations of the Professor's unlived 100th anniversary.