Public Culture in the Streets of Prague

artmat prague

Although theaters, cinemas, exhibitions, and music clubs are closed due to the spread of coronavirus, you can also come across culture in public. And we don’t just mean sculptures or historical buildings…


The KnihoBudka project was created in the summer of 2013. Its aim was to transform seven disused telephone booths into small free public libraries positioned in public spaces in Prague and its surrounding areas. The opening of the first KnihoBudka library took place on 9 January 2014 in the IKEM hospital in Prague.

There are currently more than 40 official KnihoBudka libraries all over the Czech Republic and dozens of similar mini-libraries. KnihoBudka libraries are used for free loan or swapping of books. People who are interested can borrow a book of their choice, swap a book, or take one without needing to return it, or on the contrary, they can leave their own books for another reader.

If they want, users can subsequently return the books they borrow to any KnihoBudka library. Individual businesses or organizations can adopt a KnihoBudka library so to speak, by financing the transformation of an old telephone booth into a functional KnihoBudka library, and thus create a new mini-library in their city.

This project contributes towards the practical utilization of public spaces,  making them a little bit special, and providing passers-by with an unusual service. Apart from the website, information about this project and the individual libraries is also shared on the Facebook pages of KnihoBudka.

knihobudka prague book



Located in the upper part of Krymská Street in Prague 10, Artmat is made from an old cigarette machine that has a new look and function.

Every box that falls out of the machine hides a small piece of art from students or graduates of art schools, but also from renowned Czech artists.

The aim of the project is mainly to introduce young artists (students and recent graduates). The form of selling art in old vending machines is inspired by other countries, particularly Germany, where similar vending machines are popular places to obtain an original souvenir.

In this old cigarette vending machine, those interested will now find boxes with small works of art such as graphic prints and illustrations.
To get one piece you only need to put in 50 CZK.
artmat prague

That’s not a submarine periscope jutting from the grass in Náměstí Míru (Peace Square), but a poeziomat that calls up instantaneous poetry read by their Czech and international authors at the push of a button in the original language.

The inventor, Ondřej Kobza (who also installed pianos in public spaces around Prague), built the machine to foster dialogue, social justice, and respect and has earned enough success to install further poeziomats in Kyiv, Berlin, London, and New York.

poeziomat prague

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