Opening of the Main Building of the National Museum in Prague

Opening of the Main Building of the National Museum in Prague

Following demanding general restoration work, the National Museum will be reopening its doors to visitors on 28 October 2018 – 100 years to the day since the foundation of the independent Czechoslovakia.

The National Museum, the oldest museum in Bohemia, was founded 200 years ago as the ‘Vlastenecké muzeum’ (‘The Patriotic Museum’) in 1818. Its foundation is associated with famous names such Count Kašpar Maria Šternberg, František Palacký, Jan Evangelista Purkyně, and Joachim Barrande. The National Museum’s neo-renaissance museum building on Wenceslas Square was first opened in 1891, and the historical building had not undergone significant repairs since its initial construction. The aim of the demanding restoration work was, therefore, to preserve this important national heritage site and to transform it into a modern museum building. Thanks to the clearance of some spaces inside the historical building and a connection to the New Building, the National Museum has been able to double the size of its exhibition spaces in the centre of Prague. As a result, visitors will be able to admire many unique collections which, until now, have been hidden away in depositories.

Opening of the Museum and Exhibition Projects

The doors of the National Museum’s historical building will be partially opened to visitors on 28 October 2018 for the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia. Visitors can look forward not only to the beautifully restored interior spaces of the historical building and guided tours, but also to 3 exhibitions spread over an area of almost 2,000 m². These will be open free of charge until 31 December 2018.

A project under the name The Czech-Slovak / Slovak-Czech Exhibition (28 October 201830 June 2019) will be making its way here from Bratislava. The exhibition brings together the joint histories of the Czech and Slovak states, presenting the things that have both united us and divided us. The relationships between the nations are also plotted against the backgrounds of the real fates of specific people. For the first time in history, a collection of original documents that played major roles in the history of Czechoslovakia and the fates of its inhabitants will be on display in the Czech Republic.

An exhibition by the name of 2x100 maps the 200-year history of the National Museum. Visitors will be able to see 200 of the most significant and interesting collections preserved in the museum in a surprising new context that reflects the diversity of the exhibits – historical objects, natural history, and art from the Czech Republic and across the globe.

A multimedia presentation History Becomes the Future presents the main building of the National Museum as both a national and an architectural symbol. In two-projection display in the authentic setting of the historical building’s ground floor, visitors will come face to face with the original vision of architect Josef Schulz, full of artistry and unique features, as well as with the condition of the building leading up to 2011 and following its total restoration.

What Else Does the National Museum Have in Store?

In spring 2019, the National Museum is preparing to open both an interactive exhibition in the roofed courtyard and the connecting corridor between the museum’s two buildings. Here, visitors can look forward to a multimedia exhibition connecting the architectural development of Wenceslas Square with historical events that took place on the square. In June 2019, the Czech-Slovak exhibition should make way for the exhibitionThe Greatest Czech Composers. Around 17 November 2019, the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, the museum plans to have the majority of its exhibitions open, including its natural history section, 20th century section, and the Children’s Museum. Visitors can also look forward to relaxation zones – cafés, a bookshop, and a giftshop. Besides the 12,000 m2 of exhibitions, the museum complex will contain an additional 4,000 m2 of connecting areas and relaxation zones.