The National Museum is a scientific institution intended to systematically establish, prepare and publicly exhibit natural scientific and historical collections. At present, the museum houses almost 14 million items from the area of natural history, arts, music and librarianship, spread over tens of buildings. A prestigious architectural symbol of the Czech National Revival, it is currently housed in a monumental neo-renaissance building that dominates the Wenceslas Square. Designed by Joseph Schultz, the National Museum has the distinction of being the largest and oldest Czech Museum. It was founded in 1818 and completed in 1891 and sits on the former Horse Gate.
The Museum has on display, a permanent exhibition on primeval history of Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia. Other subjects of permanent exhibitions include mineralogical, petrological, zoological, palaeontological and anthropological collections. Across the road to the northeast sits the World Headquarters for Radio Free Europe, built on the site of the former Stock Exchange (1936-1938) and then the National Assembly Building (1973). A refreshing fountain dancing in front and an elegant staircase at the entrance are befitting examples of architectural wonders. The Museum is closed on first Tuesday of every month and there is no charge of admission on every first Monday.
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