The magnificent headpiece of Prague’s historic Wenceslas square, the Prague National Museum (Národní Muzeum) is the largest museum complex in the Czech Republic, encompassing five specialized departments. The History and Natural History museums are the most sizable, housing an enormous permanent collection of prehistoric remains, archeological artifacts, rock specimens and other items from all over the world. The National Museum Library, Czech Music Museum and the National Museum of Asian, African and American Cultures, are also part of the complex.
It’s not only the exhibitions that warrant attention – the museum itself is a glorious homage to the Czech National Revival, adorned with the busts of Czech historical figures and fronted by a commandeering statue of St Wenceslas on horseback. The inescapable domed structure is an elaborate feat of neo-Renaissance architecture, featuring over 10 adjourned buildings designed by famous Czech architect Josef Schulz and dominating the Prague skyline since it opened its doors in the 1880s.
The museum is currently undergoing major redevelopments and much of the
old buildings is set to remain closed until 2015. Despite the
significant closure, visiting the museum is still possible with the
Museum’s newest building, erected in 2009, showcasing a small
selection of the vast permanent collection and the grounds remaining
open for visitors to admire the spectacular architecture.
Metro: Muzeum (lines A & C), Tram: Muzeum (11), Bus: (504, 505, 511)