The historical building of the National Museum of Prague went through an extensive reconstruction between 2011 and 2018, being re-inaugurated on the 28th of October 2018, on the 200th anniversary of the creation of the first National Museum in Prague.
The foundation of the National Museum was a project led by the private Society of Patriotic Friends of Arts, having Count Kaspar Sternberg leading the project, the same group that created the National Theatre. The chief architect for the project was Josef Schultz, the once apprentice during the Theatre’s construction and who led the reconstruction after a fire broke in that building.
The Museum brought a new era for the country, an intellectual shift. Before the museum opening, science was only accessed by the scholar nobles, historical and natural science journals only written in German. From 1820, the historian and museum secretary František Palacký ordered the journals to be written in Czech turning the museum in a popular place for common people to learn the mysteries surrounding mainly our natural world.
The main and permanent building was erected at the top of the Wenceslas Square between 1885-1891, in a prestige location, previously populated with noble palaces.
The magnificent Neo-Renaissance monument covered with statues of Czech and Bohemian figures and a high dome, technically a cupola, reaches 70 meters high and it is now open for the general public for an extra fee offering extensive views of the Wenceslas Square and Prague.
SURVIVING MILITARY ATTACKS
The building was attacked in two occasions. In May 1945, during the Prague uprising, an aerial bomb hit the building, collections were secured in a safe location and were not damaged.
In 1968, the building was attacked again, this time by the Soviets in their invasion to end the Czech Spring. They drove their tanks to the Wenceslas Square and shot at the museum thinking it was the Radio Prague.
An extensive reconstruction started in 2011 to save the building. Neglected since its opening, it was doomed to be closed due to safety reasons. The two attacks and the construction of Prague Metro Line A had done structural damages to the building.
The Museum was briefly inaugurated on the 28th of October 2018 with a great event attended by thousands of people. In February 2019, it was closed again to finish details and re-open in March 2019 offering more space and barrier-free access for people with mobility issues.
Wenceslas Square 68
10:00 – 18:00 every day
Full: 260 CZK
Reduced: 170 CZK
Family: 440 CZK
Museum + Cupola:
Full: 350 CZK
Reduced: 270 CZK
Family: 520 CZK
written by Mauricio Schuler