An Invitation to Non-Traditional Museums

An Invitation to Non-Traditional Museums

Illusions, films, sugar, chocolate, torture, medicines – you can find all these and more in some of the most unusual museum exhibitions in the Czech Republic!

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Take a trip – even when, or perhaps especially when, the weather is not the best – to a museum! Museum exhibits are no longer just boring displays of artefacts with dry descriptions. You will find a lot of exhibits in Prague, Brno, Lednice, and Tábor that are entertaining, definitely not boring, and yet still educational. These new and newly modernised museums offer original collections and interactive exhibits that just beg visitors to play along! The museums we recommend here provide detailed information about various areas of human activity.

New Museums in Prague

Museum of Senses

The Museum of Senses near Wenceslas Square in Prague is an interactive museum where it is easy to become a part of the exhibit and have fun. There are over 50 exhibits to be explored – from various rooms with altered perspectives that play mind tricks to pictures with optical illusions. Each of the exhibits offer an opportunity to ask questions and learn about our senses and the reality of perception.

Illusion Art Museum

The exhibits in the Illusion Art Museum at Old Town Square will take you into the world of illusions and deceptions. Historical methods of creating illusions are brought back to life only to be transformed into 21st century art, into an era of selfies and social networks. You can touch and try all the exhibits. The first floor of the museum is dedicated to a permanent exhibit on illusionist art, while the second floor presents travelling exhibits of young contemporary artists.

NaFilm Museum

The NaFilm National Film Museum presents the fascinating world of film and provides an unforgettable experience for both children and adults. When visiting the museum, you can explore how film works and learn about its history in an entertaining and interactive form. You will find some of history’s oldest projectors in the museum, such as the magic lantern, as well as the standard 35mm hand crank projector that you can operate to watch a film strip just like in the old days. The museum also includes an ambient sound studio, where you can create your own sound effects, and the laboratory of J. E. Purkyně for experiments with sight. At the end of your visit, you can make your own animated film to take home with you.

The World of Jellyfish

Children and more will be fascinated by these live and weird exhibits. On the roof of the Arkády Pankrác shopping centre in Prague, only a few metro stations from Vyšehrad, the largest jellyfish exhibit in Europe is open to the public. Only recently completed, it houses 10,000 jellyfish in almost 40 tanks, including stinging, harmless, and even immortal varieties.

Gallery of Steel Figures

The Gallery of Steel Figures is a unique project that shows off artwork made of recycled steel parts like sprockets, gearboxes, chains, nuts, and bolts. You can find it in the centre of Prague at the bottom of Wenceslas Square. You can admire sculptures inspired by film characters, pop stars, animals, and luxury cars (fully life size!). You can take photos of all the exhibits, touch them, and enjoy an interactive adventure.

Czech Pharmaceutical Museum in Kuks

The Czech Pharmaceutical Museum on the premises of Hospital Kuks in East Bohemia has two permanent exhibits on the history of Czech pharmaceuticals. The exhibit entitled The Magic of Pharmacy is dedicated to the history of pharmacies and the development of the pharmaceutical industry, and the exhibit From Pharmacy to a Factory is the only museum in the Czech Republic to present the development of the production of pharmaceuticals, from small batches in compounding pharmacies to the industrial-scale production in factories that arose in the mid-20th century. There are various instruments on display, such as pill makers and suppository presses, including the complete contents of a Prague pharmacy from 1821.

Virtual Expedition of the Brno ZOO

Right in the centre of South Moravia’s Brno, a unique exhibit under the Brno Zoo has opened recently. The charm of the virtual expedition lies in the extraordinary experience it offers, as well as in its simplicity. Visitors simply come in, sit in a special chair, put on special glasses, and then find themselves right among the animals. This year, you can choose from four films: you can fly with a flock of flamingos, dive amongst the coral reefs, travel with Arctic foxes, or look lions right in the eyes.

The New Generation Museum in Žďár nad Sázavou

The New Generation Museum offers a unique connection of state-of-the-art audio and visual technology with important moments in the history of the former Cistercian monastery and château in Žďár nad Sázavou. In the Vysočina Region between Prague and Brno, this site offers visitors a virtual guided tour through the stories and personalities that had a significant influence on this unique area near the Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk, a listed UNESCO site. The museum’s motto is ‘Touching the exhibits is strictly encouraged!’ – so there’s no doubt that neither you nor your children will get bored.

Museum of Chocolate and Marzipan in Tábor

South Bohemia’s Tábor hides many good cafés and restaurants in its historical centre. But it also hides the sweet Museum of Chocolate and Marzipan, which maps the history of chocolate from how it’s grow, to how it’s imported to Europe, to how it’s processed into bonbons, bars, pralines, or figurines. The second part of the museum is dedicated to marzipan and its use in confectionery. Anyone with playful hands can have fun in the museum’s workshop, where you can pour chocolate or work with marzipan.

Torture Museum in Lednice

You will find an unusual exhibit on torture in a historical basement near the château in Lednice in South Moravia. There are various torture instruments in the museum that were used by the inquisition and capital punishment courts in both the Czech Lands elsewhere in the world. There are over 200 pieces from all around the world, most of which are preserved originals.

Dobrovice Museums

In Dobrovice in Central Bohemia, you will find an exhibit on beet-growing, sugar, and the distilling industry in the local sugar refinery. The museum provides information on the development of Czech sugar production, which is famous all over the world. You can see a sugarloaf mould or the equipment used to produce sugar cubes – which, by the way, are a Czech invention. The largest piece in the museum is the steam-powered engine used for sugar production in the 1950s, though its molasses tank dates to the end of the 19th century. At the height of the tourist season, you can take a tour of the industrial sugar refinery and distillery.