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Weather Got You Feeling Blue? Check Out the National Gallery

11 February, 2020

One of the best things about living in Prague is the accessibility of the arts. Concert tickets are affordable (especially for students) and most exhibition and museum visits will cost under 150czk. A cold and rainy afternoon is well-spent exploring the city’s massive collections spread throughout several museums. The collection from the National Gallery is by far the largest and is spread throughout several buildings, making the quest to see each one a multi-day affair.

Here's the best part: for those of you who are intimidated by the sprawl of buildings, the tickets for the National Gallery are valid for seven days and offer admission to all six of the National Gallery’s permanent buildings. Here’s the rundown of what each of the buildings houses so you can plan your visit.

Kinsky Palace

This old palace is situated in the heart of Prague on Old Town Square. Here, there are permanent exhibitions from Asia and the medieval Mediterranean. The exhibition focuses on over 7,000 years of artistic development from the far corners of the world, including Tibet, India, Egypt, Anatolia and more. There is also a studio on the second floor where all guests are invited to express themselves through a variety of creative media.

Convent of St. Agnes

After it’s renovation in 1963, the National Gallery has used this historic convent to display medieval art from Bohemia and other Central European nations. The massive collection focuses especially on 14th Century Czech art, including religious icons, sculpture and paintings. Fun fact: this convent has been around since 1231.

Trade Fair Palace

The Trade Fair Palace, or Veletrzni Palac is home to the modern and postmodern collections of the National Gallery. Located in the up-and-coming Holesovice neighborhood, the gritty, hipster surroundings lend themselves to the often-controversial contents of this collection. The massive structure was used to host trade fairs until 1951, when it became office buildings. This behemoth of a building holds everything from Gauguin to Kupka, Art Nouveau to Surrealism.

Sternberg Palace

Czechs show their commitment to preserving art by housing not one but three museums within the Prague Castle complex. The Sternberg palace holds European art until the end of the Baroque period. Time for a coffee break? The ground floor of this palace has a café with a beautiful garden full of sculptures. Iconic pieces such as the famous Praying Christ by El Greco.

Schwarzenberg Palace

Nestled next to the Sternberg Palace in the Prague Castle complex, the Schwarzenberg is a meticulously renovated palace that houses paintings by Grund and Platzer as well as a cabinet of curiosities. In addition, it’s possible to see the excavation project happening in the basement of the palace, where you can see remnants of the original structure.

Salmovsky Palace

One of the newer additions to the National Gallery, the Salmovsky Palace has been a part of the collection since 2004 and opened in 2012 after a massive reconstruction. Frantisek Kupka was the artist featured in the grand opening, as it was the 100th anniversary of some of his most famous works. An exhibition of medieval art is planned to open in the near future. Like the Sternberg and Schwarzenberg palaces, this palace is also located within the Prague Castle complex.

Many UPCES professors take their classes to art galleries, but if you’d like more time to take in the art than your class period allows, you can certainly go on your own time—at a steep discount. Students can gain admission to all permanent exhibitions for 150czk for one week, giving you plenty of time to admire the most beautiful art in the country. We can’t wait to hear what your favorites are!