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Kinský Summerhouse - Musaion - Ethnographical Museum (Musaion - Národopisná expozice - Národní muzeum - Letohrádek Kinských)

Contact details

Kinského zahrada 98 - Letohrádek Kinských
Praha 5 - Smíchov
150 00
tel.: 257 214 806
tel2.: 257 323 063
email: narodopis@nm.cz
web: http://www.nm.cz
web: http://muzeum3000.nm.cz

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Additional information

Classicist Kinsky Summer Palace was built between 1827 - 1831 by architect Heindrich Koch. Since 1901, this unique summerhouse has been a seat of the ethnographical museum documenting traditional folk culture of the Czech lands – Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia.

Opening hours:
Tu - Su 10 - 18

Admission:
70 Kč/reduced 40 Kč

Exhibition:
Czech Folk Culture – life of Czech rural communities in the 18th, 19th and the first half of the 20th century, traditional folk culture of historical Czech lands - Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia.
- everyday life with emphasis on material culture: artifacts and tools of folk craftsmen, artisans and farmers (folk ceramics, folk dwellings), unique items connected with rural festivals and folk art (folk costumes and textiles).
- folk customs, rituals and festivities of traditional calendar year – from spring (Shrovetide customs, Easter customs) through summer and autumn (Pentecostal customs, summer pilgrimages and fairs, the Thanksgiving) and finally to winter (Saint Nicholas Day, Advent masks, Christmas and New Year´s Eve traditions).
- life cycle in the folk culture (birth, christening, wedding, funeral) and rituals and customs connected to family life.
Three folk artisan´s workshops (ceramics, textile, woodcarver) are also located in the exhibiton, supplemented by regular presentation of the folk crafts and trades.

Nearest public transport station: Švandovo divadlo

Description

Kinský Summer House

Next to the place where Holečkova Street ends at the square Náměstí Kinských, there is the entrance to the Smíchov part of Petřín - the Kinský Garden. In the past, there used to be a vineyard here and the building of the Plasy Monastery, then after the Hussite storms a dilapidated place called Vrabcovna (Sparrow-pit), later on it was a vineyard again and a vegetable garden. In 1798 widow Countess Růžena Kinská bought this land as she wanted to establish a fruit garden, but her plans changed in the end. Her son Rudolf Count Kinský had a beautiful English park created here in the years 1827 - 31, with a uniquely clean conception according to a project of František Hönel. (see the separate document Kinský Garden). In the lower part of the park, he built a richly graphically decorated Classicist villa (summer house) according to a project of Jindřich Koch, who also projected the farm house in the lower part of the garden. The main front’s porticus with a triangle frontispiece is mounted on Ionic columns. Inside, there was a column hall with a tree-flight staircase lighted from above. On the staircase, there were statues of Psyche (author: Canova) and Vlasta (author: Emanuel Max). A unique piece of technology is conducted through the park with ponds and waterfalls - several tunnels to bring water to the villa, either to the kitchen, bathroom and laundry, or to the stables and for the park and the vegetable garden. Together with the summer house, also the former carriage house called Švýcárna, the house for the employees, the garden pavilion (later a restaurant), and greenhouses. At that time, the park was open for public with tickets, and it had lots of visitors.

In the 1890s, the Kinský family sold a part of the garden to the neighbouring St. Gabriel Monastery and the Institute for the Deaf and Mute, and they wanted to sell more land for the construction of villas and houses, but in the end, everything was purchased in 1901 by the city of Prague. The Kinský family took away the interior facilities and in 1902, collections gathered for the National Jubilee Exhibition in 1891 and the Ethnics Exhibition in 1895 were deposited in the already empty summer house. The collections remained in the summer house until 1986, when the object was closed due to emergency conditions. The city donated the Kinský summer house to the National Museum, which provided for the reconstruction of the building and from the 1st October 2005 prepared a new ethnic exhibition Musaion.


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