Exquisite fossils are not what you would expect to see on display in a mall. However, one shopping centre operator, KAPRAIN, has ventured into new territory by opening a dinosaur museum. The Dinosauria Museum Prague shows prehistoric giants in an entertaining way across an area measuring 4,000 square metres. Real dinosaur skeletons from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods have been prepared for display – some of them were even dug out specially. ART+COM developed the overall creative concept for the exhibition.
In the central space, skeletons of a Triceratops, a long-necked Diplodocus, the marine reptile Mosasaur and, from 2022, also a carnivorous Allosaurus are set against abstract depictions of their habitats. Large-scale backdrops, which were all created by local artists, as well as specially produced light and sound compositions enhance the aura of the original pieces. Detailed animations run on media stations to show the different dinosaur species in colour and in action. The broad relationships between the exhibits, their place within evolution and the creation of Earth are explained in the “Virtual Library” using large projections – some of which are interactive.
One whole section of the museum is dedicated to the excavation of large fossils. Using an entertaining approach, the “Paleo Trail” highlights the challenges faced by fossil hunters. It tells you how fossils are formed, where in the world related dinosaurs have been discovered and about the stories revealed by the finds. You will then learn about the tools needed for an excavation. Four interactive islands also provide a wealth of information on the exhibits. Once you reach the end of the trail, you will be rewarded with your very own “Paleo Pass”. The pass allows you to access an AR app and bring one of the dinosaurs to life when you get home from the museum.
Moving away from the scientific side, a gallery looks at dinosaurs in modern culture. Many visitors will remember seeing dinosaurs in films, toy collections and cartoons as children. The “Dino Studio” section of the exhibition celebrates a Czechoslovakian classic – the 1955 children’s movie “Journey to the Beginning of Time”. American series and the dinosaur myths they helped cement are also addressed. You can then wrap this section up by testing your knowledge with an online quiz.
A play area covering several hundred square meters has been created for pre-school kids. A ten-metre model of a flying Quetzalcoatlus swooping over the stone formation there will capture everyone’s imagination. Underneath it, surprises hidden behind peepholes and simple digital games add to the fun for the little ones.
Photos: by courtesy of Dinosauria Museum Prague