Location: In front of the Karlovy Vary International Airport in Olšová Vrata
Year of creation: 1975
Author: Antonín Kuchař and Gisela Zubrová-Kuchařová
Date of unveiling: 11 May 1975
Accessibility: Freely accessible
How to get there
Route 1: You may reach Gagarin's monument at the International Airport in Olšová Vrata if you travel by car on the R6 expressway in the direction of Prague. After you reach the junction near OIšová Vrata Golf Resort, take the turning in the direction of Olšová Vrata and drive all the way to the airport. The drive is approximately 11 kilometres long and takes about 15 minutes.
Route 2: The second alternative is to travel by Bus No. 8 from the "Tržnice" (Market) stop to the "Letiště" (Airport) terminal stop in front of the arrival and departure hall. You will find the monument at the edge of the car park.
History of the monument
The monument of the first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin created by academic sculptor Antonín Kuchař and his wife, artist Gisela Zubrová-Kuchařová, was originally installed in front of the entrance to the Hot Spring Colonnade in the centre of the city in 1975. The unveiling ceremony took place on 11 May 1975 at the occasion of the grand opening of the newly built colonnade, which was then named Vřídelní kolonáda Jurije Gagarina (Yuri Gagarin's Hot Spring Colonnade).
As its original location in front of the colonnade was rather inconvenient, the statue was moved to the open space in front of the Karlovy Vary International Airport in Olšová Vrata in 1992. The bronze figural, above-life size sculpture is 320 cm tall and portrays Yuri Gagarin in a silver cosmonaut suit. In its time, the statue in Karlovy Vary was the only monument of Yuri Gagarin unveiled on the territory of Czechoslovakia.