|The National Museum (Národní Muzeum) in Prague occupies two magnificent, adjacent buildings at the top of Wenceslas Square.
The main building, the Historical Building of the National Museum, is set in a commanding position at the top of the square. It 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 normally house a vast array of exhibits, including a good natural history collection: exhibits include fossils, rocks, gemstones and stuffed extinct animals. However, the museum has recently undergone renovation, and many of these rooms are currently closed (as rooms re-open we will update this description).
Amongst rooms that are open is one that houses the huge skeleton of a whale.
Visitors can pay an extra 50czk to ride a lift up to the Dome, to enjoy views over Wenceslas Square and across the city as far as Prague Castle.
The Historical Building also hosts temporary exhibitions, most of which are included in the standard entrance ticket. Temporary exhibitions are listed in our events section.
The New Building of the National Museum is an equally imposing, iconic structure, but 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.
An Underground Corridor connects the two buildings of the National Museum. A continuously rolling film projected onto the sides of the corridor depicts the history of Wenceslas Square from ancient times to the modern day, through the Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Nazi and Communist eras.
Visitors can enter the National Museum by either building. Your ticket allows you to visit both buildings and use the corridor that connects them.
Both buildings of the National Museum have a café, shop and free cloakroom.
To discover more about the National Museum, take one of the Prague tours:
Prague Explorer Tour & Boat Trip
Prague City Tour
Prague City Tour & Boat Trip.