Doors open for Museum Night and Church Night

Back to back events let the public see inside cultural and religious venues

The 14th edition of Museum Night takes place on Saturday, June 10, opening up many of the city's museums and galleries. A similar but separately organized event, Church Night, takes place Friday, June 9, allowing the public inside places of worship.

Museum Night (Pražská muzejnínoc) takes place on the second Saturday in June. This year it offers 49 museums, galleries, and other cultural institutions in 79 buildings, and many have entertainment programs or tours. There is free admission to all museums except the Vyšehrad National Cultural Monument which will charge a symbolic entrance fee of Kč 1.

The popular locations are National Museum New Building, National Technical Museum, Public Transport Museum, Aviation Museum Kbely and Karel Zeman Museum. The National Gallery venues are also participating, and currently, have interesting exhibitions including a large work by Ai Weiwei.

Lines can be quite long at some places.

Many spots are outside the center. The Fata Morgana greenhouse and Vineyard of St. Clare are close to the Troja Château, and all are worth seeing.

If you want to see as many places as possible, you might have to skip some of the more popular ones as it takes too much time to get in.

Some venues are a bit odd. There is the Gas Museum, which is a bit out of the way, has a very specific focus. The Museum of Human and Comparative Anatomy will satisfy fans of dark tourism, with its skeletons and death masks. On a similar note, the Police Museum has actual murder weapons and other bits of evidence on display.

The Museum of Stomatology tells you all you want to know and a bit more about teeth. Remnants of the St Wenceslas Rotunda, a vanished small church, can be found inside the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics on Malostranské náměstí. The Coffee Museum has a large collection of items related to that beverage, and sometimes gets a bit of a line as it is rather small.

Note that the Jewish sites don't open until 10:30 pm since it is a Saturday.

The side program includes a shooting range for children at the Army Museum Žižkov, concerts at various venues, dancing, arts and crafts workshops, and some cuisine. There are also talks and discussions but only in Czech. Topics include space aliens and evolution.

Free transport will be provided by 10 special museum night bus routes run by the Prague Public Transport Company.

Information tents will be located on June 9 from midday to 7 pm on Wenceslas Square in front of the National Museum and again on June 10 from 10.00 am till midnight at Wenceslas Square and at náměstí Jana Palacha.

The Museum Night website lets you plan your evening in advance and has information about some contests on social media.

Prague Museum Night is organized by the National Museum, the Prague Public Transport Company and the Czech Association of Museums and Galleries, in cooperation with other institutions.

Church Night (Noc kostelů) takes place across the entire Czech Republic. Almost 3,000 places of Christian worship will be open in Prague and Central Bohemia. Some 145 are in Prague and range from St Vitus' Cathedral at Prague Castle to small chapels and rotundas.

As with Museum Night, there are programs of concerts and activities, and also the possibility simply to look inside and see some old religious artworks and relics, or fine examples of modern architecture. Some buildings have towers, crypts, gardens and other normally inaccessible parts open for tours. While the idea of the night is to spread information about religion and its cultural impact, most people come to just to see the art and architecture.

There will be a candle-lit pilgrimage across Charles Bridge for people who want to participate. This year there will be an anchored church on a pontoon on the Vltava river. Last year there was a moving church on a tram.

Church Night is organized by the participating religious organizations and ecumenical groups and supported by the Ministry of Culture.

For more on museum night visit www.prazskamuzejninoc.cz/2017
For more on church night visit www.nockostelu.cz

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