One can’t go to Prague and not visit at least a few of its numerous praised museums. Well-known throughout the world, these are homes to the Czech’s unique and complex history and heritage. This city, but the entire country too, has a myriad of stories to share with its guests, spanning over many centuries of people living in this area, creating its tradition and numerous episodes in its history. The city’s museums are now phenomenal houses of great art, literature, history, life, architecture, politics, religion, and many more elements that shaped the country into what it is today. Though it’s a difficult choice, we picked six remarkable museums for you to include in your itinerary the next time you’re in this magnificent town.
Established in 1906, this museum of Jewish heritage is one of the city’s most visited museums. It houses the world’s largest collection of Judaica, encompassing some 40,000 objects, 100,000 books, as well as a large archive of the history of Czech and Moravian Jewish communities located in the Smichov Synagogue. The exhibits are situated in several historical edifices: the Maisel Synagogue, the Klausen Synagogue with the Ceremonial Hall, the Spanish Synagogue, and the Pinkas Synagogue, where you’ll find a Holocaust memorial. While here, visit the excellent Robert Guttmann Gallery and the Old Jewish Cemetery, which is an immensely important monument and home to 12,000 gravestones.
This exquisite place is the principal Czech and Slovak Orthodox Church, completed in 1736 on the site of several previous, much older structures. This beautiful cathedral is also a memorial. In 1942, a group of Czechoslovaks took their last stand here. In the Operation Anthropoid, they had assassinated Reinhard Heydrich, chief of police and one of Hitler’s right-hand men. When the Nazi entered the cathedral, they killed two Czechoslovaks, while the rest committed suicide to avoid capture. Today, the church crypt is home to a museum dedicated to these people, where you can learn about those involved in this event, experience where they were hiding, and even see the bullet holes in the walls.
A beautiful place with a phenomenal view of the entire city! Whether you come here for the architecture, the 360-degree views, or the history, you are in for a treat. Finished as early as 1752, it may seem that the tower belongs to the Church of St. Nicholas, but it’s not so. It was largely finished after the church’s completion, and it was also used as a fire tower and the night watchman residence. Housed in this Baroque bell tower is the history of Czech life over centuries – from the prehistoric period to the contemporary times – and you are bound to be amazed by all it has to offer.
This is yet another lovely place in Prague that offers to its visitors a tale spanning several centuries. Founded in 1885 and opened in 1900, the museum is situated in a Neo-Renaissance building completed in 1899. The goal of this museum is to collect and preserve examples of crafts, design and applied arts from various historical periods for future generations. Here you’ll find a wide range of pieces from the Late Antiquity until today, created in a number of disciplines, such as glass, porcelain, ceramics, graphic art, design, metal, wood, etc., but also objects such as furniture, fashion, textiles, jewelry, clocks, toys, and much more.
This curious, dark, and for some people even slightly eerie museum is a tribute to the famous Czech writer you must visit. It houses a number of first edition books, as well as Kafka’s original letters, manuscripts, photographs, diaries and drawings, even 3D installations, which you can’t see anywhere else in the world. The exhibition consists of two sections – Existential Space and Imaginary Topography. The first is focused on the author, and the latter on the possible locations which are not named in his works. You’ll also see mechanical structures which illustrate Kafka’s intriguing, sometimes even bizarre ideas. Outside the museum, you’ll find David Černy’s controversial sculpture of two men urinating, thus writing quotes from famous Prague residents into the water, but through SMS, you can instruct them to write your message too.
The final stop on this journey is a wonderful, family-friendly museum, interesting even to those who don’t know or don’t care much about agriculture. It tells to its visitors the story of Czech ancestors, animals and nature, from the Neolithic period to the present day – how the farmers worked, what they ate and when and how, what objects they used for different purposes, how these objects and the agricultural techniques evolved over time, how it all came to be what it is today, and how it contributed to the development of other industries, contemporary technology, and science. It’s an amazing, interactive, and meaningful journey about humanity itself.
Topics: World Travel