Cumil the Sewer Worker – Bratislava, Slovakia - Atlas Obscura

Cumil the Sewer Worker

This Slovakian statue of an emerging sewer worker might just be a bronze peeping tom. 

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Meet Cumil, Bratislava’s somewhat notorious sewer worker statue. Is he resting? Is he heading down to clean up your mess? Is he just lurking?

Debate rages on as to what this cheeky chap is actually doing as he pokes out of a sculptural manhole in Bratislava’s old town district. The odd statue was installed in 1997 as part of an effort to spice up the look and feel of the area, which was traditionally marked with drab, Communist-era architecture and decoration. 

As Cumil is leaning out over a curb it comes as no surprise that his head has been clipped off more than once by careless motorists. The statue isn’t just a danger to drivers, but to pedestrians, too. Woe betide the drunkard stumbling their way home in the dark; he’ll have you on the ground if you’re not paying attention. In order to protect drivers, amblers, and— most importantly—Cumil himself, the city installed a warning sign just above his head. 

Physical dangers aside, Cumil has come to be a beloved institution in the city, and visitors come from all over to lay in the street and look him in the eyes, or just sit on his head. 

Know Before You Go

Centrally located in Bratislava's old town.

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