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EXHIBITIONS & MUSEUMS IN PRAGUE

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Exhibitions and Museums in Prague

The Jewish Museum Containing over 40,000 exhibits and 100,000 books, the Jewish Museum has one of the most extensive collections of Judaic art and culture in the world. It is unique not only in terms of the number of its exhibits, but because they are from a single territory (Bohemia and Moravia), presenting an integrated picture of Jewish life and history in the region.

Museum of Decorative Arts Housed in a fin-de-sicle building which is itself a work of art, the Museum of Decorative Arts was founded in 1885 to display exquisite examples of European decorative arts that tread a fine line between fine and applied art. Only a fraction of the museum's collection is exhibited, but the pieces on display are superb, including a range of beautiful Bohemian glass and ceramics.

Museum of the City of Prague The museum's permanent collection documents the history of the city from its foundation in the ninth century to the present day. The most famous exhibit is a 20-square-foot (two square-metre) model of Prague constructed over an eleven-year period in the early nineteenth century by Antonin Langweil, which provides visitors with a glimpse of the beautiful, inaccessible architecture that is hidden behind high walls.

National Museum The National Museum stands at the top of Wenceslas Square and contains extensive collections of prehistoric artefacts, mineralogy and petrology, palaeontology, zoology and anthropology. The permanent exhibition of the Prehistory of Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia is divided into two sections. One depicts the concurrent development of the varied cultures in the area and the other contains archaeological discoveries and models of fortified dwellings and ritual burials.

The Museum of Military History Housed in an impressive mid-sixteenth-century Renaissance palace, the Museum of Military History contains Czech military memorabilia from the thirteenth century to the end of World War I. The collection includes scale models of battles and details of historic campaign strategy, as well as uniforms, weapons and the history of evolving military technologies.

Mozart and Duseks Museum Nestled in the hills above the suburb of Smchov, the Duseks villa is where Mozart completed Don Giovanni, the night before its premier in 1787. Badly damaged by fire in the 1870s, the villa and gardens have been carefully restored to their original eighteenth-century splendour and feature outdoor recitals throughout the summer months. The collection of Mozart memorabilia is quite small, but the rococo architecture and tranquil gardens more than compensate, offering visitors an opportunity to experience the beauty that inspired the maestro's work.

Antonin Dvork Museum Hidden away behind wrought-iron gates, the Dvork Museum is housed in an elegant early eighteenth-century baroque summer palace. The exquisite russet and cream villa was designed by Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer, the architect responsible for some of Prague's most beautiful churches including St John Nepomuk on the Rock and the stunning St Nicholas in Mal strana.

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