National Gallery displays its treasures in several buildings across Prague. Functionalist Trade Fair Palace is hosting exhibitions of my favorite modern art of 20th Century. Visit this building satisfy art lovers, architecture enthusiasts but also coffee addicted visitors.
Exhibitions of Veletržní Palác
Trade Fair Palace is well known under the Czech name “Veletržní palác.” It’s located in a popular “hipster” area in between Letná (check here) and Holešovice district with a huge nearby park called Stromovka (find the article here). The building itself used to be the biggest functionalist building of its kind in the world. Famous architect Le Corbusier even describes it as ‘breathtaking.’
Trade Fair Palace has the largest exhibition of modern art in the Czech Republic. You can specifically admire permanent exhibitions mapping Czech modern art from 1918 until the present time. Besides unique paintings, you will find graphic art, design, photography, scenography, fashion, and many more portraying specifically developments in Czech art.
Of course, besides Czech art, you will find world-famous artists such as Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Gustav Klimt, Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Georges Braque (but also Czech ones, such as Alfons Mucha, František Kupka or Toyen). Palace itself is huge and can host various temporary exhibitions of all kinds. There is always something new, so check the program here, if anything catches your attention.
Summer Cinema on the Roof
During the summer, the National Gallery is even providing an extra bonus, summer cinema on the roof of the building. It is a great opportunity not only to visit this architectonical gem but also to enjoy a spectacular view of Prague. Check the actual program here and prepare yourself for spectacular sunset before the movie starts.
History of Veletržní Palác
The building itself has an interesting history. Build up in the 1920s, the original purpose of this spectacular building was hosting international trade fairs. However, during WWII, its vast area served well for Nazi occupants to gather the Jewish population of Prague for their transport to the Terezin concentration camp. With the establishment of the communist regime, the palace became a prominent seat of state-owned companies trading international products (Tuzex). Fortunately, since 1976, this remarkable building gained a well-deserved purpose and became the seat of the National Gallery.
Palace is also hosting a very pleasant Café Jedna that is open both to gallery visitors and to open public. What is stunning about this café is the open space and huge windows that provide great daily light for your coffee. The interior is designed with simple wooden furniture and green plants. You can have a very good selection of coffee from mama coffee roastery and freshly prepared food from the kosher food bakery.
How to get to the Trade Fair Palace:
Take a tram 6 or 17 just in front of the “Veletržní Palác” or tram 1, 2, 8, 12, 25, 26 to Strossmayerovo náměstí and walk about 5 minutes there. Close by is also Café Dos Mundos as well as Stromovka, the biggest park in Prague.
Address: Dukelských hrdinů 47, Prague 7
Map: click here