Prague’s Top Museums
The Czech Republic is home to a dynamic history and rich culture. Communism, art, and existentialism are just a few of the museums motifs and themes throughout Prague. With that being said, I want to show you Prague’s best and liveliest museums, which not only display interesting facts about Prague’s history, but also bring its viewers back in time to central Europe’s magical city.
Franz Kafka Museum
The Franz Kafka Museum is located just under the Charles Bridge, and is a little hard to find if you aren’t looking for it. Franz Kafka was a prominent Jewish author of many short stories and novels, and he is regarded as the most influential author of the 20thcentury. Kafka strongly influenced genres such as existentialism, and he also was an avid playwright and a lawyer. The museum was created so that its audience would not only see the works of Franz Kafka, but also to enter his mind and thoughts. The museum takes you through the life of Kafka without missing a beat.
The Mucha Museum is centered on one of Prague’s most influential artists, Alphonse Mucha. Mucha was born in 1860 and lived until 1939. He is responsible for over 100 paintings and posters that symbolize the Czech Republic’s controversial history, along with hundreds of designs of currency and museums for the newly formed Czechoslovakian government at that time. While the museum is small, it packs a punch for art Nuevo, Czech history, and beautiful art. The museum focuses on Mucha’s time in Paris, showing his beautiful posters created for the World Fair, as well as never before seen sketch books filled with amazing art.
| Famous Mucha Poster
The National Museum
The National Museum in Prague holds the Czech Republic's cultural display with many exhibits showing anything from a Czech automobile or plane, to historical paintings of the Bohemian land. Moreover, there are a few wild exhibits, such as the hunting trophies and rock collections.Keep in mind that the national museum is made of multiple buildings showing different exhibits. Paintings, for example, are at the Sternberk Palace on the castle hill square.
| National Museum
Museum of Communism
The Museum of Communism, opened in 2001, focuses on Czechoslovakia’s time in communism with an emphasis on Prague. The museum shows its viewers what daily life was like for an average citizen of Czechoslovakia and how their lives were affected politically, economically, socially, and educationally. It also focuses on the media propaganda the communist regime used. However, the museum can be broken down into three main exhibits: the Communism Dream, the Reality, and the Nightmare.
Fun fact: This is the first museum (in Prague) created to represent the sphere of influence of the Soviet Union.
New Town Square
The last of the must-see museums in Prague is New Town Square. While you might be thinking to yourself that New Town Square isn’t a museum, you would be both right and wrong. New Town Square is open to the public, and it's free to see it. However, Old Town Square carries so much history, that in my mind, it may as well be a free museum to the public. Located between New Town Square and the Charles Bridge, Old Town Square displays architecture from the Neo gothic, Romantic, and even Renaissance ages. Furthermore, there is a statue of Jan Hus, a religious reformer in Prague, in the middle of the square, as well as Prague’s famous astronomical clock.
| Astronomical Clock
While there are so many more museums Prague can offer, you can’t go wrong picking any of these museums or others that seem to catch your eye. You never know what you can find in this magical city, and you may just stumble on the next best museums without even realizing it.
Joey Notowich is the Spring 2014 CEA MOJO in Prague, Czech Republic. He is a junior at the University of Indiana, Bloomington.
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