Table of contents:
- History of the Technical Museum
- Current exhibits
- Made in Czechoslovakia
- Architecture and Civil Engineering
- Astronomical exposition
- History of transport
- Metals are the way of civilization
- Measuring time
- Household appliances
- Printing routes
- Reviews of tourists
2023 Author: Henry Conors | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 12:05
The National Technical Museum in Prague (Národní Technické Muzeum) highlights the history of technology in the Czech Republic. The recently renovated museum has become even more extensive and interesting for all age groups and provides an opportunity to relax from the bustle and noise of the city. Students, science and technology workers enjoy unique exhibits, conduct new research, trying to find modern technical solutions. And even non-professionals can easily understand the scientific concepts of past eras, which are very clearly demonstrated in exhibitions. The huge six-story museum is home to the technical heritage of the Bohemian lands and houses more than 58,000 items, of which 15 percent are classified as historically valuable.
History of the Technical Museum
Museum collection of samples of machines and goods that created a boom during the industrial revolution, started in the Czech Republic as early as 1834. The title of the father of the Technical Museum in Prague is often attributed to the Russian patriot Vojtěch Naprstek (1826-1894). Since 1862, he began to collect a collection of industrial and technicalnovelties of that time around the world, and in 1887 made it public.
Naprstek was a great success at exhibitions in Vienna, the capital of the then Austria-Hungary. These events led to the creation of a technical museum, which culminated in 1908, when the decision was made to establish it. In 1910, the museum officially opened its doors in the Schwarzenberg Palace on Gradchanskaya Square.
During the interwar period (1918-1938), the collections grew so rapidly that it became necessary to open a separate building. The construction was entrusted to the architect Milan Babushkin (1884-1953), the work was carried out in 1938-1941 and completed in the summer before the war itself. During the Second World War, the building was captured by the Nazis, who established a protectorate post office in it, and only in 1948 part of the building was returned to the museum.
In 1951 the museum became a state museum and was named the National Technical Museum in Prague. In the 1960s, he expanded his exhibitions and established contacts with the administrations of other technical museums around the world. After 2003, its reconstruction began, which was completed in 2013.
Currently, the museum has more than 70,000 exhibits showing the development of science and technology in the Czech lands. The museum is very popular. Around 250,000 people visit every year.
In the Technical Museum of Prague you can see unique collections such as 16th century astronomical objects used by Tycho Brahe himself,the first car in Czechoslovakia and the oldest daguerreotypes in the world. It also has a library with 250,000 books.
Collection items, books and archival items are housed not only in the museum, but also in professional and educational institutions throughout the city. Areas represented in the museum include acoustics, architecture, construction industry, light industry, electrical engineering. At the entrance to the museum is the oldest carousel in Europe, which is the main attraction for visitors.
Technical Museum is popular in the country. When guests of the city are recommended where to go in Prague, they definitely name it. In order to get to the object by public transport, it is best to take trams No. 1, 25, 12, 26, 8 to the Letenské Náměstí stop. From there to the museum - about 5 minutes walk. It can also be easily reached on foot from the Old Town Square or the Municipal House. The walk will pass through the beautiful park "Letenskiye sady", its duration is about 20 minutes.
Opening hours: 9:00-18:00, ticket sales end 30 minutes before closing. The National Technical Museum has wheelchair entrances. The full price of the entrance ticket is 1300 rubles. There are privileged categories of visitors, for example, for school groups - 150 rubles. for each child and 2 accompanying teachers free of charge. School groups can buy tickets without queuing, they do not need a reservation. Admission for children under 6 years old is free. Guide services in Russian costat 420 rubles. Only CZK, credit and debit cards are accepted for payment. There is paid parking in front of the museum.
Made in Czechoslovakia
The exposition of industrial achievements of the country is dedicated to industrial goods produced in Czechoslovakia. This exhibition features famous products with labels "Made in Czechoslovakia". It was prepared on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Czechoslovak Republic. Its task is to convey information to visitors about the famous goods of Czechoslovak companies produced in the period from 1918 to 1992.
130 exhibits are presented at the exhibition. Visitors can feel the atmosphere of the period when the product was released through examples of the promotional materials used. Reviews of the Technical Museum in Prague speak of a superbly composed exhibition that has an interactive part for the more curious visitors. In the playroom located at the exhibition, children can play with toys that their parents played with as children. Each exhibit is unique and represents the historical industrial potential of the country.
Architecture and Civil Engineering
Architectural exposition presents the main stages of the construction of objects in the Czech lands from the second half of the 19th century to the present day. Here, visitors can get acquainted with the engineering elements and construction technology of chain bridges, houses with iron roofs and other objects with unique structures. Visitors will get an insight into the most important buildings and features of the various styles of historic architecture: Modernism, Cubism, Constructivism, Functionalism, Socialist Realism and the massive prefabricated housing projects of the 1960s. The hall displays both original and completely new models, including sculptural additions, numerous studies.
The exhibition offers a pleasant visit to the halls decorated in Art Nouveau and Cubist style, which makes it possible to plunge into the atmosphere of that time. Visitors can enter architectural firms from the 19th and 20th century or learn about the success of the Czechoslovak pavilion at Expo 58 in Brussels.
It is conceived as an infinite expanse of the universe, full of shining stars in the form of unique collectibles. The introductory part of the elliptical device "From the history of astronomy" presents the main milestones in the development of science over the past 6000 years. The oldest object in the collection, at nearly 5,000 years old, is a meteorite found in 2005 at Campo del Cielo in Argentina.
In the second part of the exhibition "From the History of Astronomical Instruments", six thematic chapters show devices used in different periods of history from the 15th to the 20th century. The theme of the presentation refers to the 16th and 17th centuries, when the residence of Emperor Rudolf II in Prague was home to the most famous astronomers of the time - Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler.
The exhibition showcases research instruments of outstanding scientists: armillaryspheres, balls, sundial and other objects. The 18th century also offers a glimpse into the wonderful world of astronomers, surveyors, cartographers, mathematicians and ship navigators. The principles of using devices and aids, as well as information on the latest achievements in astronomy, are presented on large screens.
History of transport
Transport hall is traditionally the most popular among visitors. The car exhibition captures the world of old technology: the first cars powered by internal combustion and steam engines, numerous motorcycles demonstrating their development from the end of the 19th century to the present, examples of railway technology, aircraft suspended from the ceiling.
There is also a balloon basket, Igo Etrich's glider. The collection includes unique historical aircraft: Anatra DS, Traktor, Zlín Z XIII recreational aircraft and dozens of others. All this creates a unique atmosphere dominated by renowned and flawless machines that have proven their worth.
The exposition in separate narratives shows the entire history of the development of automobile, motorcycle, bicycle, aviation and boat transport. Shorter tours show fragments from the history of railway transport and the development of fire fighting technology in the Czech lands - both machines produced in the country and machines imported from abroad and operated here.
The Car Exhibition presents the Czech production of vehicles. Heremention should be made of the NW President car from 1898, the first produced in the Czech lands, and the Kašpar JK aircraft from 1911, on which Jan Kašpar made the first long-distance flight in history. Other exhibits include a 1935 Tatra 80 used by President T. G. Masaryk and a Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. IXE fighter that Czech pilots returned to liberated Czechoslovakia.
Metals are the way of civilization
The exposition of the history of metallurgy presents the technical and historical development of the industry and its relationship with the development of the country. The production processes of iron processing equipment are documented by a restored 9th century Slavic ironworks.
The development of iron production at all stages is represented by both a series of models and original equipment. The era of the Industrial Revolution, which had a significant impact on the production of pig iron and its use in engineering, transport and construction, is illustrated by the early 19th century coal-fired blast furnaces of the Vojtešsk Iron and Steel Works in Kladno, including the first blast furnace from 1856. The modern technology of the continuous steel casting process was also demonstrated here.
The second part of the exposition consists of four sections and is devoted to the role of iron in antiquity. Currently, the metallurgical exhibition at the National Technical Museum is the only one in the Czech Republic.
The "Measuring Time" exhibition contains many historical devices for measuring time: solar, water, fire, sand, mechanical, as well as electrical and electronic devices and, finally, quantum clocks.
The exposition tells about the internal development of the watch industry. During the 19th century, the country's technology kept pace with the latest advances in the world. This was largely due to the efforts of Josef Bozek and Josef Kosek, whose works are also featured in the museum.
A large part of the space is devoted to watchmaking technology. Visitors can see a rich assortment of tools and devices. A special place of the exhibition is an audiovisual room, which shows a fascinating film that talks about the phenomenon of time in a historical context.
Nearby is the new "Household Appliances" exhibition, which shows the history of devices to facilitate women's work: cleaning, washing, ironing, sewing, cooking, etc. It informs visitors about what appliances were available and how they were used in their time.
There is a television studio on the 3rd floor of the National Technical Museum. The exhibition has been designed in cooperation with Czech TV and features the equipment and furniture used between 1997 and 2011 in the SK8 studio complex in Kavcik Hori for news broadcasting.
The exhibition is viewed with a guide who explains and shows visitors how the studio works. Guests can try the role of a news announcer,meteorologist, operator and director. Other visitors peek into the studio through a glass wall from an adjacent hallway, where text panels and an interactive monitor provide interesting information.
The history of printing, linked to the production of books, magazines, newspapers and printed publications, has a special place in the Czech Republic. With the help of the presented machines and equipment, visitors to the exhibition have the opportunity to get acquainted with the development of basic printing technologies from antiquity to the present.
The corresponding place is given to the Czechs Jakub Gusnik and Karel Klich, who, with their inventions, had a significant impact on the development of printing. The collections include a manual printing press from a Jesuit printing house in Prague at the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries, a MAN disk rotary press from 1876, made for the governor's press in Prague. This is the first machine of this type used in the Czech Republic and one of the few remaining in Europe.
Part of the exhibition is designed as a workshop, where you can practically try out individual printing operations or create graphic works. There are also drawing courses. Museum staff have prepared games for children that reveal the secrets of old printing methods.
Reviews of tourists
The National Technical Museum in Prague for 110 years has been visited by many millions of citizens of the country and foreign tourists. 14 impressive permanent exhibitions based on science, located on six aboveground and three undergroundfloors.
Such a magnificent collection of historical specimens of the technical achievement of mankind, wisely interspersed in the exposition of our time, could not leave anyone indifferent. Many visitors are happy to share their feedback:
- This beautifully restored and kid-friendly museum focuses on interesting aspects of science, technology and industry.
- The best museum for family holidays, it is offered to all city guests when they recommend where to go in Prague.
- After the reconstruction, user-friendly interactive displays have appeared that help visitors to cover the numerous collections of expositions.
- The collection is huge, including six floors of transportation, architecture and civil engineering, printing, mining, astronomy, watchmaking, photography and household appliances.
- An outstanding transportation gallery occupies the entire back of the building with a triple-height exhibition hall filled with bicycles, motorcycles, cars, trains, planes suspended from the ceiling, and even a balloon depicting the history of developments in Czech transportation.
- The print gallery imitates an outdated printing house with printing blocks, printing presses from different periods, newspaper and bookbinding machines and talks about the role of printed material in the development of the national identity of the country.
The National Technical Museum is the place where the most significant inventions in Czechoslovakia over the last century are documented. He challenges prejudices insociety about the alleged lack of relevance of technical exhibitions, on the contrary, demonstrates how important they are for understanding the technological progress of mankind in all the many facets of life.
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