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The American Horse

Stand beneath the belly of this giant creature inspired by the creativity of Leonardo da Vinci centuries ago. Wander through the gardens surrounding the statue.

The American Horse is a large and imposing sculpture that looks similar to the creation by famous 15th-century Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci. With a height of 24 feet (7.3 meters), the statue rises above the verdant terrain of the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Have your photo taken beside the legs of this bronze behemoth for a sense of its size.

Note that renowned animal sculptor Nina Akamu built the horse in the 1990s. It was one of two casts of the sculpture that da Vinci intended to be the largest in the world at the time. The other resides in Milan. 

Admire the design of the horse, one of its front legs rising forward in a half-trot. See how its neck is strained, with open mouth and flaring nostrils. The statue is striking in winter, when its black coat serves as a stark contrast to the white snow. Notice the intricate details, enlarged to fit the tall creature.

The horse diverges from the initial designs of da Vinci, who never finished his work. It’s said the Italian’s project was interrupted when his metal materials were confiscated for weapons. The statue in Grand Rapids in one of the highlights of the gardens. 

Look for two other versions of the horse in the gardens. These include the 8-foot (2.4-meter) Homage to Leonardo and a tiny model made for the blind, who can feel its contours and details.

For entrance to the park, pay a fee, which is discounted for children, seniors and students. Toddlers are permitted free to the gardens, which open every day from morning until late in the afternoon.

The American Horse stands in the northern part of the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Reach the park on the eastern side of the city via a 45-minute bus ride from the downtown district. Walk through the park’s maze of trails to reach the statue.


Top Hotel Deals

See all 187 Properties near Leonardo da Vinci's Horse
Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Grand Rapids East, MI £107
Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Grand Rapids East, MI

Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Grand Rapids East, MI

3251 Deposit Dr, Grand Rapids, MI
     
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    This family-friendly Grand Rapids hotel is located in the suburbs, within a 15-minute walk of Leonardo da Vinci's Horse and Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. Cornerstone University and Decatur Vein Clinic are also within 3 miles (5 km).

    Homewood Suites by Hilton Grand Rapids Downtown £114
    Homewood Suites by Hilton Grand Rapids Downtown

    Homewood Suites by Hilton Grand Rapids Downtown

    161 Ottawa Avenue N.W., Grand Rapids, MI
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Downtown, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Grand Rapids Art Museum and DeVos Performance Hall. Van Andel Arena and Public Museum of Grand Rapids are also within 10 minutes. Grand Rapids Station is 17 minutes by foot.

      Hyatt Place Grand Rapids Downtown £125
      Hyatt Place Grand Rapids Downtown

      Hyatt Place Grand Rapids Downtown

      140 Ottawa Ave, Grand Rapids, MI
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Downtown, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Grand Rapids Art Museum and DeVos Performance Hall. Van Andel Arena and Public Museum of Grand Rapids are also within 10 minutes. Grand Rapids Station is 16 minutes by foot.

        Hampton Inn & Suites Grand Rapids Downtown £99
        Hampton Inn & Suites Grand Rapids Downtown

        Hampton Inn & Suites Grand Rapids Downtown

        433 Dudley Place NE, Grand Rapids, MI
           
          2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Midtown, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Heritage Hill Historic District and DeVos Performance Hall. Van Andel Arena and Public Museum of Grand Rapids are also within 2 miles (3 km).

          Amway Grand Plaza, Curio Collection by Hilton £137
          Amway Grand Plaza, Curio Collection by Hilton

          Amway Grand Plaza, Curio Collection by Hilton

          187 Monroe Ave Nw, Grand Rapids, MI
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Downtown, this spa hotel is within a 5-minute walk of DeVos Performance Hall and Public Museum of Grand Rapids. Van Andel Arena and Downtown Market are also within 1 mile (2 km). Grand Rapids Station is 16 minutes by foot.

            Motel 6 Grand Rapids, MI - Northeast £53
            Motel 6 Grand Rapids, MI - Northeast

            Motel 6 Grand Rapids, MI - Northeast

            3221 Plainfield Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI
               
              2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Creston, this hotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Huff Park, Donald Lamoreaux Park and Provin Trails Park. DeltaPlex Arena and Conference Center and Public Museum of Grand Rapids are also within 6 miles (10 km).

              Holiday Inn Grand Rapids Airport £72
              Holiday Inn Grand Rapids Airport

              Holiday Inn Grand Rapids Airport

              3063 Lake Eastbrook Blvd SE, Grand Rapids, MI
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in East Paris, this hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Centerpointe Mall and Woodland Mall. Patterson Ice Center and Calvin College Ecosystem Preserve are also within 3 miles (5 km).

                Hilton Garden Inn Grand Rapids Airport £103
                Hilton Garden Inn Grand Rapids Airport

                Hilton Garden Inn Grand Rapids Airport

                2321 East Beltline Avenue SE, Grand Rapids, MI
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in East Beltline, this hotel is 1.1 mi (1.7 km) from Calvin College, and within 9 mi (15 km) of Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park and Grand Rapids Art Museum. Public Museum of Grand Rapids and Grand Rapids Children's Museum are also within 9 mi (15 km).