Prague National Museum - History

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A Brief History of Prague National Museum

Prague National Museum is the largest museum in the Czech Republic. It was built at the end of the 19th century, but as an institution, it is much older than that. After the Frech Revolution helped to introduce culture and art to the masses, the Czech Society of Patriotic Friends of the Arts led by Count Casper Sternberk-Manderschied began its work. Numerous noblemen donated their collections of paintings, sculptures, books, and Natural History objects to the first museum established in 1818. Count Sternberg himself was a botanist, mineralogist, and eminent phytopaleontologist, who greatly contributed to the future collection. The museum was originally located in his palace but had to move twice due to a lack of space.

Finally, in 1881 the construction of the main building on the Wenceslas Square began. The architect was famous Josef Schultz, who also constructed Prague National Theatre. The construction was possible thanks to the Czech National Revival movement when Czech identity had been slowly reclaimed after centuries of Austrian rule. That is why the National Museum building is covered with names and sculptures of Czech artists and politicians, who worked hard to revive Czech culture.

The building of the Prague National Museum was damaged during WWII and the 1968 Warsaw Pact intervention and had to be eventually closed down. After a protracted reconstruction, the museum reopened in 2018, symbolically on its 200th anniversary. It is opened every day from 10 am to 6 pm. The entrance fee of 200czk for adults not only covers the exhibitions and the entrance to the museum's cupola, but also admissions to 9 other National Museum's objects, such as the Czech Museum of Music, Antonin Dvorak Museum, National Memorial on Vitkov Hill, and many more! Prague travelers have 5 days to visit all exhibitions after the purchase of the ticket.


Tickets to the Prague National Museum

  • The ticket to Prague National Museum costs 250 CZK and includes 9 museum buildings that you can visit in 5 days.
  • You can get a ticket in a box office or online, on the Prague National Museum official website. The electronic ticket allows you to skip the line. Yay!  
  • Every first Monday of the month Prague National Museum is opened for free, and every first Tuesday of the month it is closed completely. 


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Author: Valeriia Zahradnikova and Vaclav Zahradnik, Prague guides certified by Prague City Tourism agency. Valeriia and Vaclav have worked in tourism for over 6 years and have guided thousands of Prague visitors.