The City of Prague Museum
Take a step through the ages to see what makes Prague the city it is today
The City of Prague Museum (Muzeum hlavního města Prahy) documents the vast history of the city spanning the ages, right from Early Prehistoric, through to the turn of the Modern Era. Each exhibition provides an intriguing insight into a period of time many visitors are just discovering on their trip to the city. The museum has four permanent exhibitions alongside several temporary exhibitions. These do not include the main attraction of the museum, Langweil’s Model of Prague 1826-1837, a paper and cardboard built version of the city, an incredible piece of work that will impress you from every angle.
Upon entering the museum and paying the entry fee of CZK 120 (£3.40 / € 4.40) you can leave your coat in a guarded cloakroom for no extra charge, a nice feature if the weather has been bad and you don’t want to walk around in a soaking wet coat. The museum begins on the first floor – not to be confused with the ground floor which also has an exhibition – and hosts two permanent exhibitions. These exhibitions are; Prague in Prehistory and Medieval Prague. You can work your way through these exhibitions chronologically starting with information and artefacts from the earliest known settlers of the area. The main focus of the prehistory exhibition is farming, food and clothing which is rounded off with an archaeological study into the burial traditions of these first settlers. The exhibition is quite dimly lit but is still easy to read information and adds to the overall feel of the prehistory era.
You can then move straight into the ‘Medieval Prague’ exhibition, this area talks about the actual development of the city throughout the medieval period. It goes into great detail on the construction of Prague Castle and its various expansions. This then leads onto the evolution of the Old and New town and how because of this development Prague became a major hub for European trade and travel.
There are many members of staff on hand to guide you to the next exhibition keeping with the chronology of the museum. They guide you upstairs onto the second floor of the museum to the ‘Turn of the Modern Era’ (Renaissance) and ‘Baroque Prague’ exhibitions. The Renaissance exhibition focuses upon the households of Prague during the 15th and 16th centuries and is full of lavish and exquisite objects ranging from combs and pieces of jewellery to fine ornaments, chairs and pieces of artwork. The exhibition contains information of all its artefacts and it lit extremely well to show off said objects. This continues to run into the ‘Baroque Prague’ exhibition which contains various objects and relics from the guilds of Prague.
There is no doubt that the highlight of the museum however is Langweil’s Model of Prague 1826-1837. This is an impressive exhibition is made up of a combination of cardboard and wood and depicts the city of Prague in the scale 1:480. You can look directly down many of the streets and take in the incredible effort that has gone into this piece. As the exhibition describes, the model is made up of more than 2000 houses, 960 of which do not exist anymore. The entire model has also been digitised and so you can get up close and personal on one of the several screens placed around the room.
Also included in your entry fee for the museum is a 3D cinema experience (located on the ground floor) which takes you around Prague from the air. The screening takes you through Langweil’s model of the city in which you finish with a great view of the model from the top of Prague Castle. It is well worth going to a screening of this but time it well as the last on is at 4pm every day.
The City of Prague Museum is a great museum to visit to discover how Prague has developed through the ages. The exhibitions are laid out in a methodical, chronological way so as not to confuse visitors of the museum. While all of the exhibitions are interesting and worthwhile, the main attraction is of course Langweil’s Model of Prague 1826-1837, if you do nothing else in the museum this is the one exhibition you must visit. With the museum easily accessible by all city transport and on foot, it is a destination you should add to your ‘To Do’ list in Prague.
For those taking young families to the museum, fear not, as there is a soft playroom for children and also a small museum for the children which offer various activities all included within the price of your tickets.
Visiting Hours, Prices and Location.
Location: Na Poříčí 52/1554 180 00 Prague 8
Website Link: www.muzeumprahy.cz (ENG)
Opening Hours: Open daily, except Mondays, 9am-6pm (Last Wednesday of the month – open until 8pm)
General CZK 120 (£3.40 / € 4.40)
Reduced CZK 50 (£1.40 / € 1.85)
Family CZK 200 (£5.70 / € 7.40)
Groups CZK 50/per person (£1.40pp / € 1.85pp)
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