The National Museum (Národní Muzeum) in Prague occupies two magnificent, adjacent buildings at the top of Wenceslas Square
The main building, called the Historical Building of the National Museum, is set in a commanding position at the top of the square, and has just re-opened following 7 years of renovation works.
The Historical Building is the oldest and largest museum in the Czech Republic, a monumental neo-Renaissance structure designed by Josef Schultz as an architectural symbol of the Czech National Revival.
The museum was constructed during the years 1818 to 1891 on the site of the former Horse Gate (Wenceslas Square once served as Prague's main horse market).
The entrance hall to the Historical Building is grand, with sweeping staircases, intricate stonework and beautiful ceiling frescos.
The exhibition rooms leading off it house a vast array of exhibits, including a good natural history collection; items range from fossils, rocks and gemstones to stuffed extinct animals (over the course of the next few months the exhibition rooms will re-open in stages, and as they do we will update this description with details of the exhibits).
As well as permanent exhibits, the Historical Building also hosts a rolling programme of temporary exhibitions, which are listed in our events section.
News: Admission to the Historical Building is free until the end of 2018. Arrive early to avoid the queues.
The New Building of the National Museum is an equally imposing, iconic structure of a different architectural style. The ground floor is a huge glass covered oblong block. On top, sits an even larger block of concrete and glass, elevated high above street level.
Prior to becoming an annex of the National Museum, the New Building was home to Radio Free Europe. Before that, it served as the national parliament of Czechoslovakia during the communist era.
The New Building was constructed in the 1930s, before Nazi and Communist rule. But perhaps it was a portent of the turmoil that was to come - the building exudes a chilling power, more than any other in Prague.
The New Building of the National Museum hosts a rolling programme of temporary exhibitions.
To discover more about both buildings of the National Museum, take a Prague tour:
Prague Grand City Sightseeing Tour
Prague Grand City Sightseeing Tour & Boat
Prague All Inclusive Walking Tour & Boat.