The permanent exhibition presents in chronological order, from the end of the 11th to the end of the 19th century, monuments created by the hands of both ordinary and excellent stone cutters and of both average and the best sculptors. We will find here architectonic articles, both simple and also heavily decorated, such as columns, windows, portals, apex stones, arch stones, spouts, wallflowers, consoles, baldachins, and further carved and relief tombstones, water reservoirs and fountains, memorial plaques, reliefs, garden vases and sculptures, groups of statues, memoriam.
The most valuable exhibits include the frontispiece from Oldříš, the oldest monumental relief in the Czech lands, the beautiful and historically precious children’s tombstone of Premyslid Guta II, the so-called Kouřim Ivas, the oldest preserved architectural sculpture in the Czech territory, the collection of carved tombstones from Ostrov u Davle, superb sculptures from the iron-mill of Petr Parléř which originally decorated the Old Town Bridge Tower, the torso of popular Bruncvík from Charles Bridge.
There are also remains of the oldest Marian Column in Bohemia created by Jan Jiří Bendl in 1650 for the Old Town Square, the equestrian monument of St. Wenceslas by the same sculptor, intended for the Prague Horse Market, today’s Wenceslas Square and several groups of statues that originally decorated Charles Bridge.
The monuments collected in the Lapidarium of the National Museum mostly come from buildings demolished during the huge sanitation wave which hit Prague at the turn of the 19th and 20th Century. Many exhibits are from repaired churches, some were removed from their original sites because they had lost their original function (fountains, memorials), and many were damaged by natural disasters or simply grew old and were replaced by copies.
The Lapidarium was ranked among the 10 most beautiful museum exhibitions in Europe in the international competition of 1997.