Today we will tell you about one quirky statue in Bratislava, Slovakia. His name is Čumil, the Slovak word actually means “watcher”. It only takes a quick glance at the face of the man at work at the junction of Laurinská and Panská Streets to understand why he goes by the name “the watcher”. The bronze statue, with a grin on his face, peeks his head from underneath a manhole cover in the Old Town and he is popular among tourists and locals alike. You cannot visit Bratislava without saying hi to Čumil! And make sure to take a photo – this is actually one of the most photographed objects in Bratislava.
Čumil: A Bit of History
Čumil is one of many statues in the Old Town of Bratislava. Other statues include Paparazzi, Schöner Náci, and Napoleon’s Soldier. These statues appeared in 1997, a couple of years after Slovak independence. This was at a time when the city was polishing its image after its Communist past. Čumil is the work of Slovak sculptor Viktor Hulík. The artist was born in 1947 in Bratislava.
As for Čumil, there are a couple of theories about his name. Maybe he’s trying to get a look under the ladies’ skirts or perhaps he’s a typical communist-era worker who works little and watches a lot? Or maybe he’s resting after a hard day’s work cleaning the sewer. Either way, this sympathetic man seems to enjoy his surroundings.
There are careless drivers everywhere and Bratislava is no exception! The poor statue actually lost his head twice. Because of this, he was given his own road sign that reminds passers-by of the man at work.
Legend has it that those who touch the head of the man will get a wish come true – if they manage to keep it a secret forever.
Čumil: How to Find Him?
The best way to find this spot is on foot. Amongst the cafés, restaurants, and shops of the Old Town, you will find the statue. It is situated in the front the corner of Rybárska brána (Fishermen’s gate), at the junction of Panská and Laurinská streets. Just follow the crowds and as we already said, bring your camera! There’s often a street band playing in the corner as well.