National Museum, Prague

National Museum, Prague

The National Museum ('Národní muzeum') in Prague was founded on April 15, 1818 by Count Kašpar Maria Šternberk, with an aim to systematically establish, prepare and publicly exhibit natural scientific and historical collections. Its founding came about in the context of the times where, after the French Revolution, royal and private collections of art and science were made available to the public. The early focus of the museum was natural sciences, partially because Count Sternberk was a botanist, mineralogist, and eminent phytopaleontologist himself, but also because of the natural science slant of the times, courtesy of Emperor Joseph II of Austria.

Presently, the Museum houses some 14 million items from the areas of natural history, mineralogy, paleontology, mycology, botany, entomology, zoology, anthropology, and archaeology, as well as history, arts, music and librarianship, spread across dozens of buildings. The Main (Historical) Building on the upper end of Wenceslas Square was built by prominent Czech Neo-Renaissance architect, Josef Schulz, in 1885-1891.

The building was damaged by a bomb during World War II in 1945, but the collections remained unscathed for being removed to secured locations. During the 1968 Warsaw Pact intervention, the main facade was severely damaged by strong Soviet machine-gun and automatic submachine-gun fire. The shots left numerous holes in sandstone pillars and plaster, destroyed stone statues and reliefs, and caused damage in some of the depositories. Despite the general facade repair between 1970 and 1972, the damage is still visible because of the lighter sandstone used to mend the bullet holes.

The New Building of the National Museum, right next to the Main Building, is the former Prague Stock Exchange dating from 1937. The building was extended in 1968–1973. Between 1995 and 2009 it was used by the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. In 2000, the Ministry of Culture declared it a cultural monument.

Why You Should Visit:
The largest museum in Prague.
Sight description based on wikipedia

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National Museum on Map

Sight Name: National Museum
Sight Location: Prague, Czech Republic (See walking tours in Prague)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Prague, Czech Republic

Create Your Own Walk in Prague

Create Your Own Walk in Prague

Creating your own self-guided walk in Prague is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Old Town Souvenir Shopping

Old Town Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Prague without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Prague, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
New Town Walking Tour

New Town Walking Tour

The youngest (established 1348) and the largest (three times the size of the Old Town), the New Town (Nove Mesto) of Prague is one of the five originally independent townships that today form the historic center of the Czech capital. Steeped in history, the district is traditionally dense with tourists.

Among the attractions found here there are Dancing House (named so for resembling a pair of...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Lesser Town Walking Tour

Lesser Town Walking Tour

Malá Strana ("Lesser Town") is a district of Prague, one of the most historically significant in the Czech capital. Back in the Middle Ages, it was predominantly populated by ethnic Germans and, in later years, largely retained its Germanic vibe despite prevalence of the Baroque style in architecture.

The most prominent landmark of Malá Strana is the Wallenstein Palace. There are...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 Km or 2.2 Miles
Hradcany (Castle District) Walking Tour

Hradcany (Castle District) Walking Tour

Hradcany, or the Castle District, is the area surrounding Prague Castle, said to be the biggest castle complex in the world. Going back in history as far as the 9th century, the castle has been the seat of power for Bohemian kings, Holy Roman emperors, leaders of Czechoslovakia and is currently the President's official residence. Located nearby is St. Vitus' Cathedral, a symbol of Czech...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Prague Introduction Walking Tour

Prague Introduction Walking Tour

Nicknamed “the City of a Hundred Spires,” Prague is home to a wealth of attractions, including more than ten major museums, numerous theatres, galleries, and plethora of historic sights.

The Czech name Praha derives from an old Slavic word práh, which means "ford" or "rapid", referring to the city's origin at a crossing point of the Vltava river. The legendary...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
Old Town Walking Tour

Old Town Walking Tour

The Old Town (Czech: Staré Město) is a medieval settlement of Prague, once separated from the outside by a semi-circular moat and wall, hugged by the Vltava river. The moat is now covered up by streets, which remain the official boundary of the cadastral district of Old Town. Notable places within the Old Town include Old Town Square, Astronomical Clock, Kinsky Palace and more. Take this...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


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