Public art in Germany

The town centres of Germany have a wealth of street art, in the form of statues and fountains. Some quirky. Some traditional. Some representing stories of important people or myths or local legends.

Äachen. Outside a book store

Cologne / Köln


Some invite viewer interaction. Some require viewer action to operate. They are not just for looking at and for tourists to take photos of.

I love how the statues gives a focus for parents walking their children. I can imagine it adds a purpose and an element of fun when a parent suggests a walk to burn their child’s energy. “Let’s go for a walk to see the pigs.”

Bremen – Which came first. The street name? The statue? The historic use, of course.

And who wouldn’t want to jump on them?


I love how some statues call for a tactile response. You can see where some statues are repeatedly stroked or patted or sat on.

Bremen. Everyone wants to pat the donkey.

I love how they give an opportunity for passing on local stories.



I love how they give a focus, a central point to a square or Stadtplatz. Somewhere to meet or hang.

I love how they add to the beauty of a place. They catch your eye and force you to have an emotional response. Like it? Love it? Confused by it? Unsure of it? Want to look more closely?


Mainz. I could imagine in summer kids jumping under the umbrellas to get wet.

This one’s a ring in. From Como, Italy.







Baden Baden



Äachen. You make the fountain operate by pressing a button. It’s not obvious at first.

7 thoughts on “Public art in Germany

  1. How amazing is the thumb print one! The fact that these communities value art enough to spend the considerable amount they must have cost to commission continues to amaze me. It’s a different prioritization of value. We don’t invest enough in that kind of contribution in Australia, sadly. Love being reminded of how great it is to amble around a European city and see art at every turn.

    • I didn’t like the other side of the big thumb. It was freaky with the nail.

      Yes, wish we did more art. mr S says it’d probably be stolen for the metal value. As happened a few years ago.

  2. Thanks for sharing your photos of the street art.
    If you are planning to go to TX when you visit the US, Mr S (in the Bremen photo) looks like he is ready for bronc riding–assuming they still have those mechanical bulls in some bars there. Aka John Travolta in Urban Cowboy. 🙂
    (Must admit, I’ve never seen it–just some trailers from the film which reminded me of Mr S’ pose).

    • Haha. Mr S always stands out with his hats. Very useful to locate him in a crowd. And the Germans and French loved the hat. Not going to Texas. If we were, I’d ban Mr S from the mechanical bull. Not risking broken wrists. USA is too expensive for medical treatment.

  3. I’ve spent five Saturdays, with one to go, on a citizens jury about a vision for City of Sydney 2050, and one thing that’s come through from the diverse range of people is more art – more culture, more places to create art, see art, be involved, free too! Here’s hoping the City takes it’s citizens words and makes it a reality!

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