The National Museum building was built between 1885 – 1890 according to the project of J. Schulz on a place where the Horse Gate used to be. It was destroyed in 1875. The institution of the National Museum as such came into being in 1918. Originally it was a patriotic project of Czech aristocracy, however, eventually it became part of Czech national revival.
The National Museum is certainly an outstanding building. Indeed when the Russians entered the city in 1968 they believed this building to be the seat of government and started firing at it – consequently bullet holes can still be seen in the walls today.The actual exhibits however might be less appealing, unless you have an interest in fossils, minerals and stuffed animals.
This is certainly one of the most interesting museums in Prague though not many tourists make it here as it is not in the very centre. The museum has an amazingly diverse range of exhibitions from areas including Building and Architecture, Transport, Mining, Consumer Industry, Food insustry and Acoustics.
The long-term exhibition The City of K. Franz Kafka and Prague was opened in Prague in during the summer of 2005. Franz Kafka was born in Prague on 3July 1883, died in a sanatorium at Kierling on 3June 1924, and was buried in the New Jewish Cemetery in Prague - Strašnice on 11 June. The exhibition opened in Barcelona in 1999, in 2002–2003 it transferred to the Jewish Museum in New York, and in 2005 it opened in Prague, in the unique Hergetova cihelna [the Herget Brickworks] on the Malá Strana [Lesser Town] bank of the river Vltava [the Moldau].
An exhibition of toys is located in the building of the Old Burgrave’s Palace in Prague Castle, which is supplemented to include part of the family collection of the film-maker and caricaturist Ivan Steiger.
The museum was founded in 1968, in the area of the historic military airfield Prague- Kbely, the first air base built after the constitution of Czechoslovakia in 1918. Due to both the quantity and quality of its collections, it is one of to the largest air museums in Europe. Currently the collections contain 275 aircrafts, 85 of which are exhibited in four indoor halls, 25 are displayed in the open air, 155 are stored in depositories, and 10 planes, fully operational, are still in service. Many aircraft are unique in the world. (Museum display only one in the world czech plane constructions and both type of the Me 262 Schwalbe).
The exposition is closely related to the history of Czechoslovak and Czech aviation, especially its military branch. Several other types of foreign important aircraft are also exhibited for comparison, together with numerous aircraft engines, parts of airframes, armament, uniforms, banners, marks of distinction and other relics related to the history of Czechoslovak and Czech aviation.
The museum is open in the summer season, i.e. from May till October, every day except Monday from 10.00 AM to 6 PM.
The Military Technical Museum of the Military History Institute in Prague has been located since 1996 in the former artillery barracks between Krhanice and Lešany, near Týnec nad Sázavou. Currently, the exposition contains over 350 historic tanks, cannons, motorcycles, armored vehicles, trucks and military passenger vehicles, manufactured in the period from 1890 up to present. The collections are presented in 10 halls, 6 roofed areas and also in the open air.
By the quantity and contents of its collection, with many items unique in the world, the museum is one of the most important European institutions of its kind. The unique part is particularly the collection of the Czechoslovak military transport vehicles from 1918 to 1939, and the collection of Škoda cannons. By the concept of the exposition, the museum follows new trends of presentation of technical collections. From the very start, the museum has followed the pattern of British museums that set the trends in the current development of the museology. Regular replacements of the exhibits every year, their impressive presentation in motion, and the gradual improvement of the exhibition areas – all that helps the visitors better understand the issues of the Czechoslovak military technical history. Every year, when the museum opens as well as during the summer season (every last saturday in August - Tank day), our LEŠANY ARENA hosts numerous events presenting the historic technology in motion.
The museum is open during the summer season in the following hours:
In June and September 9.30 AM to 5.30 PM (weekends only), in July and August 9.30 AM to 5.30 PM (daily except mondays)
Next year the museum will be opened on 19. 5. 2012 by special opening event.
How to get to the museum:
Car: 1) Prague - highway D1 direct to Brno - exit Velké popovice - Babice - Lešany u Týnce nad Sázavou 2) Prague – direction Jesenice - Jílové u Prahy - Kamenný Přívoz - Prosečnice - Krhanice - Lešany Train: Take the ride from the railway station Praha Hlavní nádraží, or Praha Vršovice, or Praha Bráník, direction Týnec nad Sázavou, to the Krhanice station, and then walk 500 meters over the bridge to the museum (the popular Sázava Pacific Line goes through the picturesque valley of the Sázava River).