The Army Museum in Prague-Žižkov
Stand to attention and get ready to march through the turbulent 20th century at Prague’s Army Museum
Approaching the slope from the main road at Husitska, the Army Museum looks like nothing more than another building in Prague for all but the small sign that advertises the attraction. However, this all changes halfway up the slope when you stumble across one of the most iconic relics of the Second World War. Proudly on its mount, a T34-85 tank stands, battered but proud, guarding the hillside and the entrance to the museum, a menacing adversary for any visitor who is immediately captivated by its behemoth prowess.
Once past the tank standing guard at the gates, entry into the museum is free, this means it is a great attraction to take a family or group of friends to who are on a budget. Upon entering the museum you will be greeted by a member of staff who explains the layout of the museum and suggest the best way to navigate the various exhibitions, a handy introduction to get you on your way.
The exhibitions are split into easy to manage sections.
Downstairs - First World War (1914-1918)
The First World War Exhibition pays homage to the Czechs and Slovaks who took part in the war. It explains the difficult political situation they many of these people found themselves in as they were torn apart by surrounding Empires often fighting fellow countrymen on the battlefield for the same cause, an independent Czechoslovak Republic. Many Czechoslovak’s fought in specific legions for the Austro-Hungarian army in an attempt to gain their independence and the exhibition goes into detail on this. Alongside the information there are also fantastic displays with accurate weaponry, uniforms, medals and other military equipment from all of the nations which took part in the First World War.
Upstairs – Czechoslovakia: Interwar Period (1918-1939)
The second section is dedicated to the interwar period in Czechoslovakia, it provides information on the Czechoslovak army between the wars. The exhibition includes 3D models of tanks and other engineering pieces which Czechoslovakia produced during the interwar period. There is a large amount of equipment on display and much of it, including; guns, clothing and medals is quite rare which means that the exhibition is well worth visiting. The information provided in this section of the museum is clear and plentiful which means you won’s get easily distracted or bored moving through the exhibition.
Upstairs – The Second World War (1939-1945)
Following on, the third section involves Czechs and Slovaks and their struggle during the Second World War, involvement with the Wehrmacht (German Army), resistance groups in Czechoslovakia and events which led to the attempted restoration of the Republic. The display showcases a lot of German equipment from; uniforms and weaponry to small scale model displays depicting battle scenes and various very rare pieces of German equipment which are hard to find outside of museum exhibitions and private collections. This section even includes a piece on how the Holocaust effected Czechoslovakia. The display shows harrowing photos from concentration and extermination camps from around Czechoslovakia and the surrounding area. This is a haunting and emotional piece of the exhibition but one which cannot be ignored and one which respect must be paid to.
There is also a temporary exhibition based on the Czechoslovakian struggle to come to terms with Communist rule and the resistance which followed and eventually led to the fall of communism during the revolutions of the late 20th century. However this exhibition may change as it is a temporary exhibition in the museum. The Army Museum – Zizkov is a great way to spend a few hours in Prague regardless of your level of knowledge on Czechoslovakia’s history throughout the 20th century. From Student to Academic there is something for everyone in the Army Museum.
Visiting Hours, Prices and Location.
Location: U Památníku 2, Praha 3 – Žižkov
Website Link: www.vhu.cz
Opening Hours: The Army Museum Žižkov is open every day except Monday, from 10.00 AM to 6 PM.
Admission: Free Entry
Museum Number: +420 973 204 924
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