Happy birthday, National Museum! Prague landmarks open for free today

Prague's National Museum celebrates 205 years on April 15, and the main building and associated locations all offer free admission to celebrate.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 15.04.2023 09:37:00 (updated on 15.04.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

The National Museum in Prague celebrates 205 years of existence today, and its main complex atop Wenceslas Square and all associated locations are all opening their doors for free to celebrate.

Throughout the day today, visitors can look forward to free admission as well as accompanying events including guided tours, lectures, film screenings, and more at the main National Museum Complex on Wenceslas Square (both new and historic buildings) as well as numerous other locations throughout the city.

Those additional venues include the National Monument At Vítkov, the Czech Music Museum, Bedřich Smetana Museum, Antonín Dvořák Museum, the Ethnographic Museum, the Memorial to František Palacký and František Ladislav Rieger, the Vrchotovy Janovice Chateau south of Prague, and the Museum Of Czech Puppets And Circus in Prachatice.

Full details about the accompanying events and further information including opening hours can be found at the website of the National Museum in Prague.

If you're interested in visiting the main National Museum complex today, however, be forewarned: even without free admission (which is otherwise CZK 350 for adults), the location typically reaches capacity at around noon on weekend days, with a line forming outside through closing at 6:00 p.m.

Still, today's anniversary makes for an excellent opportunity to check out some of the lesser-visited locations operated by the National Museum throughout Prague.

Prague's National Museum was founded on April 15, 1818 by Kaspar Maria von Sternberg, President of the Society of the Patriotic Museum, who served as its first operator. The museum was originally located at Sternberg Palace near Prague Castle, and focused on natural sciences owing to Sternberg's background as a botanist.

But as the museum grew in size and stature, it relocated first to the Nostitz Palace and later to what we know now as the historic National Museum building atop Wenceslas Square, which was built to house its growing collection in 1891.

"Five years ago, after a complete reconstruction, we reopened the Main Building of the National Museum as part of the [200th anniversary celebration]," Museum Director Michal Lukeš says in a press release.

"In the five years of its operation in its new guise, we have been able to fill its beautiful halls with excellently executed and entertaining exhibitions, which we are constantly adding to and expanding. Exhibitions that our visitors like to return to include windows to prehistoric times with the legendary mammoth, miracles of evolution with the iconic whale, and also all the moments of Czech history."

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