National Gallery Prague – Trade Fair Palace – Small Hall

(c) Tomáš Slavík


Dukelských hrdinů 47, 170 00 Prague 7

Opening hours

Tue–Su 10AM–6PM
Every first Wednesday of the month 10AM–8PM

The Trade Fair Palace will be closed on July 9, 2024, due to water outage. Thank you for your understanding.

Accessibility & facilities

Barrier-free entrance
Accessible WC
Changing table
Drinking water
230V socket

Public transport

Station Vltavská Metro C
Tram – Veletržní palác 6 | 17
Tram – Strossmayerovo náměstí 1 | 2 | 6 | 8 | 12 | 17 | 25 | 26


National Gallery Prague – Trade Fair Palace (c) Tomáš Slavík

The main exhibition of Matter of Art takes place in the building of the National Gallery Prague known as the Trade Fair Palace. Built in 1925–1928, it is a great example of Czech Functionalist architecture. Between the world wars, it belonged to the Prague Sample Trade Fairs Association. Their vision was an expo centre that would attract business from across Europe. The Grand Hall of the palace, where the biennale is taking place, was the main venue for trade fairs and a space to exhibit heavy machinery, like agricultural or industrial technology. It used to be full of commercials, signs, objects – a very colorful setting. The modernization of the early 20th century started many processes of change: it led to massive migration from the countryside to the cities (lasting until today) and to stronger workers’ movements due to an increase in their numbers.

After the war, the palace was home to various foreign trade companies until it was nearly destroyed by a fire in 1974. After the fire, nobody knew what do with the building. There were proposals to convert it into a hospital, a research institute or a museum of the revolutionary workers’ movement. Finally, Stavoprojekt Liberec, the company responsible for the building, proposed that there could be a gallery of contemporary art here. That is how the National Gallery became interested in the palace. The reconstruction was a slow process. It was finished only in the 1990s and the National Gallery moved in.