Mining and Metallurgy

In 1910, two years after the establishment of the Technical Museum for the Bohemian Kingdom (now the NTM), the basic collection sections of this museum were created. This included the Mining-Metallurgy Department whose agenda was to build a collection documenting the current state and history of mining and metallurgy.

The first mining exhibit was 230 m² in size and was opened to the public in 1912 at the Schwarzenberg Palace in Hradčany where the Prague Technical Museum was located at that time. Part of the mining exhibit showed an unusual (at that time) rendition imitating a mine and was extremely popular with museum visitors. The metallurgy exhibit occupied a more modest area of 88 m² and was opened in 1913.

In 1941 the museum was forced to move out of the Schwarzenberg Palace. The museum’s collections, including that of mining and metallurgy, were moved to the Invalidovna building in the Karlín part of Prague and were exhibited here despite the spatial constraints. It was only after 1945 that the museum could move into its new building in Prague 7 at Letná Plain where in 1952 mining exhibition was opened to the public – a replica of a coal and (one year later) ore mine with a viewing track over 500 meters long through stopes and mining tunnels. The exhibition of metallurgy history focussing on the development of iron and steel wasn’t opened until 1960.

In 1964, the original mining-metallurgy section of the museum was divided into two separate departments that began to independently organize research activities in their discipline. The foundations were laid then for a long tradition of seminars on mining and metallurgy history. Both departments presented their collections through a number of successful travelling exhibitions both at home and abroad. In 1998 the original arrangement was realigned and both departments were part of the restructuring at NTM and joined into the single Mining and Metallurgy Department.

The year 2002 was a crucial year for the NTM when the devastating flooding that August afflicted the metallurgy collection stored in the Invalidovna’s depository in the Karlín district of Prague. Fortunately, the collection of artistic cast iron stored one floor higher in this building was saved, as was the mining collection in a depository in Čelákovice, outside of Prague. For the Mining and Metallurgy Department this meant not only moving the damaged and undamaged collections from Invalidovna, but also overseeing their new placement and restoration.

As part of the renovations of the main museum building commenced in 2006, the permanent History of Iron exhibit was disassembled, as was the mining exhibit – except for the coal and ore mine. Currently being prepared in the basement of the NTM building is a new version of the mining exhibit supplementing the tour of the coal and ore mine. There is also a new metallurgy-themed exhibit project.


Historical Mining

Present-day Mining Geology
and Mineralogy
Mineral Processing



Diving Photo Documentation
 of Mining History



Iron Metallurgy

Metallurgy of Non-ferrous Metals Mechanical Engineering Metallurgy


Artistic cast iron works

Blacksmithing and Locksmithing
Kožený kovářský měch, 1705