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Smichov - Prague 5

GPS: 50°4'36.84"N, 14°23'56.04"E

   Builder of the summer palace was a prominent state officer and a patriot, who supported cultural associations of awakened Prague, Rudolf count of Kinský (1802-1836). The design was elaborated by Vienna architect Jindřich Koch. Construction was realized during 1827-1831. Basically the classicist building has been kept in its original form till nowadays. The summer palace, together with lands which had been bought by the Kinský family before and which were successively changed into a garden, orchards and a park, provided its owners with full comfort.
   In 1901 the town of Prague together with the town of Smíchov, headed by burgomasters JUDr. Vladimír Srb and Alois Elhenický, purchased the summer palace and other agricultural buildings. On 15th May 1903 a museum was opened there ceremoniously, whose basis was formed of precious examples of folk culture from all parts of Czech Kingdom countries. Before, they had been exhibited in a successful Ethnographic Exhibition, which took place during 15.5.-23.10.1895 in Prague, exhibition site in Holešovice and which was visited by over two million visitors.
   Activity of the Ethnographic Museum had to be ended in 1986, because corrosive underground water of the Petřín slope leaked into the foundations of the summer palace. The exhibits were replaced into depositaries and the building was abandoned for a long time. Decisive step was made on 25th March 1999, when the city board of representatives decided to donate the summer palace to the property of the National Museum in Prague and thus to open the way for comeback of the Ethnographic Museum. During 2002-2003 the building underwent a complicated reconstruction, which was funded by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic. The new concept of the museum exhibition and the summer palace were called Musaion, from the Greek mouseion, a temple of Muses. The Ethnographic Museum, in the collection of which there are 200 000 subjects, was ceremoniously opened on 29th September 2005.