Metronome-Tourist Attraction in Prague?
In 1948 the Communists who were in control of Prague decided they wanted to build a monument honoring Joseph Stalin. They planned to put it on the crest of the hill overlooking the Vtlava River and center city of Prague. That way, all the people in Prague would see this 50 foot statue daily. This would be the world's largest likeness of their leader.
Stalin stood at the head of a column with four Czech people following him, making the statue 72 feet long. This massive monument wasn't unveiled until May, 1955 - two years after Stalin died. At the dedication, Nikita Khrushchev commented, "Too big, too late." During the de-Stalinization of the USSR, it became an embarrassment for the Communist party.
The platform and surrounding sidewalks and walkways in Letna Park were preserved after the detonation but sat empty for the next 29 years. Finally, the metronome was built there. Some people in Prague connect this saying with it: "So long as the metronome stands, all is well in Prague."
The large area, known as Stalin Square, today mainly sits empty. When we explored the park last summer, would-be rock climbers were practicing their skills on the fifteen-foot rock walls in front of the metronome. The paved area, behind the former statue, is now one of the iconic skateboard plazas in the world. It's used by young people to test out their skateboarding skills on the railings.
The strangest site in the area is an electric wire with tennis shoes hanging from it. After a little research, I read that the skateboarders would throw a pair of shoes over the wire when they accomplished a move that had never been done before.
Today this tradition continues by some, but for other reasons. Seems silly to me. Why spoil the beautiful view over the city with shoes?
Information taken from Riowang blogspot Colossus