Bratislava is the small and pretty capital of Slovakia. Walking through its streets you can come across some curious bronze statues. Alchemists, photographers, children, soldiers, jokers, barons, girls and even the writer Hans Christian Andersen! There are many statues of Bratislava and thanks to social networks tourists enjoy finding them all and photographing them.
The most famous and iconic of these is definitely Cumil the Peeping Tom. A funny man who leans out of a manhole in the middle of the street and has become one of the tourist symbols of the city. Cumil is located in the old town, at the corner between Panská street and Laurinská street. Poor Cumil has in the past been crushed several times by cars and consequently several times rebuilt. Today a sign "Man at work" warns distracted motorists of his presence. However, what job does the cute Cumil is not known. Maybe he just wants to peek under the skirts, as his relaxed grin seems to reveal.
The statues were installed (Cumil in 1997) in various points of the capital to give it a breath of freshness and lightness after the long years of grey Communist dictatorship. With the opening towards the outside and the entry of Slovakia into the EU in 2004, Bratislava experienced a happy tourist season. Its distance with three other royal capitals of European tourism, namely Vienna, Budapest and Prague (respectively about 60, 180 and 320 km away), has surely helped the city of former Czechoslovakia to become known.
Bronze statues are not exclusive to Bratislava. There are also many in Budapest. Among these, the most photographed by tourists is that of a mustached and bellied policeman who controls the old town near the cathedral of Saint Stephen. Looks like touching his belly is good luck.