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National Gallery Prague: Kinsky Palace

National Gallery Prague where is previously known as the National Gallery in Prague is the heart of Prague’s largest collection for arts.  Its history dated back to the 5 February 1876. A couple of nobles of the Czech society decided to “transfer” their nobility to the middle-class people of the country and they called this the “Enlightenment Movement”. Also, when you say National Gallery Prague you won’t refer an only one building. National Gallery Prague has a couple of buildings but the most famous one of them is the Kinsky Palace. Kinsky Palace is located at the Old Town Square, next to the St. Nicholas Church, The Church of Our Lady before Tyn and in front of the Astronomical Clock of Prague. I gave information about all the other building of National Gallery Prague in this post but mostly focus on Kinsky Palace. You can find the list of all building below;

  • Trade Fair Palace
  • Sternberg Palace
  • Schwarzenberg Palace
  • Salm Palace
  • Convent of St. Agnes of Bohemia
  • Waldstein Riding School
  • Graphic Cabinets
  • Czech and Slovak Pavilion in Venice
  • Frystat Chateau
  • Zdar Nad Sazavou Castle

There will be permanent and temporary exhibitions at every building. You need to check them all separately from this website. Also, I added a permanent exhibition to help you while you are planning your time in Prague.

  • Old Masters (Schwarzenberg Palace)
  • Old Masters II (Sternberg Palace)
  • 1796-1918: Art of The Long Century (Trade Fair Palace)
  • 1918-1938: First Czechoslovak Republic (Trade Fair Palace)
  • From 1930 to Present: Czech Modern Art (Trade Fair Palace)
  • Medieval Art in Bohemia and Central Europe between 1200 and 1550 (Convent of St Agnes of Bohemia)
  • The Collection of Prints and Drawings (Veletržní palác)

National Gallery Prague: Enlightenment Movement

As I mentioned above the Enlightenment Movement was founded a very important building; Academy of Fine Arts and Picture Gallery of the Society of Patriotic Friends of the Arts. Also, the Enlightenment Movement took another name, Society of Patriotic Friends of the Arts.  Picture Gallery of the Society of Patriotic Friends of the Arts became the directorate centre of all building which known as National Gallery Prague today. Another important institution joined the National Gallery Prague in 1902, the Modern Gallery of the Kingdom of Bohemia. It was a private foundation of Emperor Franz Joseph I. Most of the collection at the modern gallery belong to Emperor Franz Joseph I‘s own collection about 20th-century art.

In 1918, Picture Gallery of the Society of Patriotic Friends of the Arts became the central art and culture institution of the Czechoslovak state. During the time, the importance and number of the collection held by the institution increased. Subsequently, The National Gallery in Prague (former name of the gallery) was founded by the 148/1949 law of the Cezch government.  Since then the National Gallery Prague is responsible for all artworks, paintings, graphical art, sculpture and all-new media arts in Czech. You can check the current exhibitions from the website of the National Gallery Prague.

Kinsky Palace History

The most famous building of the National Gallery Prague, Kinsky Palace was built between 1755 and 1765. There were probably three old Romanesque building previously. Today, when you looked at the Kinsky Palace from the Old Town Square you will see the pinky-white building but around it, there are a couple of older buildings. The oldest building of those dates back to 1363. The first building was a romanesque styled building from the 12th century. Its ground floor was an ashlar masonry. Actually not was, is, because you can see that masonry at the cellars of the palace. After the year of 1560, that building went under renovation from Romanesque to Renaissance style. Lords Trčka of Lípa and later on of Příchovský of Hodějov were the owner of the building.

National Gallery Prague Kinsky Palace
Kinsky Palace have lots of impressive details (Source).

The northern part of the Kinsky Palace built in the 13th century with the under the effect of the Gothic style. These two building connected with others at first in 1508 by the centre of the building, Albrecht of Kolowraty. Almost after 80 years, a new balcony added to the north wing of the building in 1583. During 1750, the north section of the building was bought by Count Jan Arnost Golz, lately bought the south wing and merge them into one. Finally, Franz Ulrich Kinsky purchased all of them in 1768 and fully decorated. Around 1830, Kinsky Palace was extended to the north building (No. 607) and connected within each other. Kinsky Palace is the administration of the National Gallery Prague since 1949.

Where is the Kinsky Palace?

The centre of the National Gallery Prague, Kinsky Palace is located at the Old Town Square where is the heart of the Prague city. Due to its central location going to the Kinsky Palace is very easy. You can almost walk from anywhere from the Prague centre to Kinsky Palace. It is possible to reach the Kinsky Palace from the Prague National Museum and Wenceslas Square within only 10-15 minutes of walk. It will take a little longer from the Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral through the Charles Bridge and Celemntinum, around 25-30 minutes. If you want to use public transport, Staroměstská and Mustek metro stations are the closest one to the National Gallery Prague. You can also find the closest public transport option to the Kinsky Palace below;

  • Metro A – Staroměstská
    Metro A, B – Můstek
    Tram 2, 17, 18 – Staroměstská
    Tram 17 – Právnická fakulta
    Bus 194 – Staroměstská

National Gallery Prague Tour and Ticket

I will give information about only visiting the Kinsky Palace here. As you already know there are couple buildings belongs to the National Gallery Prague. But if you ever come to Prague you should visit the Kinsky Palace. Please check the table below to find the opening and closing hours of the Kinsky Palace. You can take a look at the widget below to find the most suitable tours & tickets for you. Most of the tours probably won’t include visiting the inside of the Kinsky Palace and you may have to buy its ticket separately like most of the historical places in Prague.

Opening Hour Closing Hour
Monday-Sunday 10.00 18.00
Wednesday 10.00 20.00


Please share experience and thought about the National Gallery Prague and the Kinsky Palace on the comment section to help the other who are thinking to visit. Also, If you have any questions feel free to ask them.

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