Where to Go for Culture
“Knowledge is infinitely more valuable than all of the world’s pleasures”, said Socrates, the Greek philosopher. However, why separate knowledge from entertainment?
The Czech Republic is a country which is proud of its rich cultural heritage. Literally hundreds of museums and galleries are a part of this heritage. Do you know the history behind the new building of the National Museum in Prague? Or where to find one of the few functional paper manufacturers in the world?
Culture Which You Cannot Miss
The largest museum institution in the Czech Republic is the Prague National Museum, which has an exposition not only in Prague, but also in other cities, for example Prachatice, Vrchotovy Janovice or Zdar nad Sazavou, where you can visit the Pilgrimage Church of St. John Nepomuk, which is entered into UNESCO. Due to the ongoing renovations, the main building of the Prague National Museum in Prague is closed until 2018. You can find current exhibitions a few steps away from the historical building in the New building of the Prague National Museum. The building has a very interesting history, because prior to being transferred to the property of the museum, it had many owners. The oldest part of the building was built in 1938 and served the needs of the Prague Stock and Goods Exchange. After the Second World War, the Czechoslovakian Parliament resided there but space was cramped. Therefore, in 1964, a very controversial brutal finishing of the construction was started under the leadership of the architect, Karel Prager, which has its objectors even after almost 50 years. In the largest building, the Federal Assembly resided, and following the separation of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republics, these areas were used by the radio station, Free Europe (Svobodna Evropa). Presently, you can visit some of the current exhibitions in the Monarchy cycle – for example, Following the Footsteps of Karel May or What Life Was Like in the Time of Emperor’s Masters. The cycle maps out the life of the Czech land in periods before 1918, during which time a picture of Emperor Franz Joseph I hung on the walls of classrooms rather than a picture of the president.
A Gallery for Everyone
Would you like to see the exhibition of Middle Age Art in the areas of the old gothic monastery, or would you rather prefer large baroque paintings? The Prague National Gallery consists of many exhibition areas and palaces where you can not only find oriental or gothic art, but also countryside paintings from the Romanticism Period and a modern installation. Currently, Alfons Mucha’s canvasses are displayed at the Prague Veletrzni Palace. Alfons Mucha is one of the most famous art nouveau painters. It is possible to see his Slav Epic in this range for the first time in Prague.
Set Off Outside of Prague
In Kutná Hora, where the city centre is preserved as a monument of UNESCO, the young Gallery of Middle Bohemia Region is located, which no one refers to in any other way than GASK. This exhibition area is very lively and is ingrained into the knowledge of the public as a place worth visiting if you want to see top quality modern art.
A live demonstration of the interconnection of history and quality craft trade can be seen in Velké Losiny, in one of the last functional manufacturers of hand-made paper. The museum presents traditional production technology of paper and enables visitors to look into the once valued and widespread craft trade. Presently, top quality paper has been manufactured in the same areas for more than 400 years and the Czech Republic Presidential Office is one of its valued customers.
An Unforgettable Night
Museum nights are a traditional part of the cultural year in many cities. Hundreds of thousands of visitors are annually attracted to the open museums and galleries thanks to their mysterious and unusual night atmosphere.
Not even in Brno, in the second largest city in the Czech Republic, will visitors be deprived of the unusual night tours. The interesting thing is that some theatres and even the Brno Observatory take part in the museum nights. Therefore, on May 18th, 2013, you definitely have something to look forward to. Ostrava experiences its museum night on May 25th, 2013. Do not miss out on visiting Ostrava - Vitkovice. It is definitely worth the visit!