National Theatre

As elsewhere in Europe, the origin of the National Museum lies in large donations from private collections, principally natural history collections, owned by arsitocrats living in the country. A group of enlightened aristocrats - especially Kaspar Maria Sternberg (1761-1838), a world-renowned scholar in the field of palaeontology - are also the main figures in the preparation for establishing the museum. On 15th April 1818, they signed a proclamation declaring the founding of the Museum, and their support ensured that, in the year 1820, their constitution was approved by the government in Vienna and by the emperor. A Society of the National Museum in Bohemia was established as owner and adminstrator of the collections; and also as the organiser of all work related to the museum. Their first chairman was Count Sternberg. The Society remained the owner until 1934, when the ownership and management of the collections was transferred to the Czech lands. In 1949 it was transferred to state ownership. The monumental neo-Rennaissance building was was built between 1885 and 1890, designed by Josef Schulz. Entrance to the building, whose frontispiece is about 10 metres wide, is via a ramp, decorated with ornate cast-iron lampposts and statues of allegorical figures (Bohemia and Moravia, Silesia, Elbe and Vltava) by Antonin Wagner. In the museum, prehistoric, archaeological, theatre, mineralogical, geological, palaeontological and zoological collections are installed, focusing on the most valuable cultural heritage of our nation. The building is also home to the museum library, and hosts temporary exhibitions, lectures and other cultural events.


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Updated 01-01-1970 01:00