Place photography, Wenceslas Square-New Town-Prague-1
The main museum building is located on the upper end of Wenceslas Square and was built by prominent Czech neo-renaissance architect Josef Schulz from 1885 - 1891;before this the museum had been temporarily based at several noblemen’s palaces. With the construction of a permanent building for the museum, a great deal of work which had previously been devoted to ensuring that the collections would remain intact was now put toward collecting new materials.
The building was damaged during World War II in 1945 by a bomb, but the collections were not damaged because they had been moved to other storage sites. The museum reopened after intensive repairs in 1947, and in 1960 exterior night floodlighting was installed, which followed a general repair of the facade that had taken place in previous years.
During the 1968 Warsaw Pact intervention the main facade was severely damaged by strong Soviet machine-gun and automatic submachine-gun fire. The shots made numerous holes in sandstone pillars and plaster, destroyed stone statues and reliefs and also caused damage in some of the depositaries. Despite the general facade repair made between 1970 - 1972 the damage still can be seen because the builders used lighter sandstone to repair the bullet holes.
The main Museum building was also damaged during the construction of the Prague Metro in 1972 and 1978. The Opening of the North-South Highway in 1978 on two sides of building resulted in the museum being cut off from city infrastructure. This also lead to the building suffering from an excessive noise level, a dangerously high level of dust and constant vibrations from heavy road traffic.
Due to major renovations the museum will be closed until 2016. Some seven million items had to be removed to the museum’s depositories in what has been dubbed the biggest moving of museum collections in Czech history.
A beautiful building to behold, so well captured in your wonderful night photograph. Thank you for the well written narrative. Seems such a shame that such a fine building would have suffered such abuse when it contained the very heart of the nation's history. I trust the people will not allow this abuse again, ever.