Both the Culture Ministry and Health Ministry will open the doors of their Prague headquarters for St. Wenceslas Day on September 28. Highlights include a large Baroque library in Culture Ministry’s Nostitz Palace and an anti-nuclear bunker under the Health Ministry. In the past, there have been long lines for tours of similar buildings, so plan accordingly.
The national holiday this year falls on a Saturday, so unfortunately there is no additional day off for most people.
The Culture Ministry will open Nostitz Palace (Nostický palác), at Maltézské náměstí 1 in Malá Strana, from 10 am to 5 pm so people can see the picture gallery, the library and the Chapel of the Assumption.
“All 29 contributory organizations of the Ministry of Culture will present their program on the ground floor of the palace. The National Technical Museum will present a sample of the accompanying programs of the upcoming exhibition Dictatorship in Technology. The Museum of Glass and Costume Jewelery in Jablonec nad Nisou will show you important milestones from its history. There will also be the Museum of Jan Amos Comenius with a genuine teacher of nations and an illustration of bookbinding,” Culture Minister Lubomír Zaorálek (ČSSD) said.
“For the first time, we will also open the beautiful cellars of the palace, where you can see a historical exhibition titled Czech Theater Photography 1859–2017,” he added.
The Baroque palace is the former residence of the noble Nostitz-Rieneck family, built between 1660 and 1676, and remodeled around 1760. It has the oldest of two remaining palace libraries in Prague, with over 15,000 books, on all manner of subjects. Many are quite rare and priceless. Visitors will have to go through a security check to enter the building.
The Health Ministry building at Palackého náměstí in Prague 2 will be open from 9 am to 4 pm. People can look forward to guided tours of the historic building and a rich accompanying program. The roughly one-hour group tours will start approximately every 20 minutes.
“I am very happy to open our ministry again to the people after a year. It is a great opportunity for the public to look into the space where the history of our healthcare has been written and is still being written. I cordially invite everyone to a tour and look forward to new meetings,” Health Minister Adam Vojtěch (Independent) said.
Visitors can see, for example, the office of the Minister and his deputies, the original ministerial apartment, a large meeting room and an anti-nuclear bunker from the 1970s. The tours will be accompanied by short presentations on the agenda of the Ministry and its directly managed organizations.
A medical zone will also be prepared for visitors who want to undergo an eye or blood pressure examinations. There will also be nutritional counseling, smoking cessation counseling and other preventative discussions, but in the Czech language. Entry is free without the need for prior registration.
St. Wenceslas was Duke (or Prince) of Bohemia in the 10th century and is regarded as the patron of the Czech people. He was assassinated September 28, 935, outside a church in Stará Boleslav, Central Bohemia, in a complicated plot centered on religion. He is also the subject of the Christmas carol “Good King Wenceslas” and the patron saint of beer.