Prachatice museum was founded in 1904 due to initiative of museum society. The beginnings were not bound to the existing building. The museum was located on the ground floor of the city hall. As early as 1946 the city museum got in its possession house of the Žďarkýs’ on the main square, also known as the Sitter’s house. It is a renaissance burgher house wit a gothic core, the renaissance style refurbishment falls to 1604. Due to its rich mural decoration it belongs among the most beautiful houses in Prachatice. The author of the building is a Prachatice born painter Šebestián Hájek. The theme of mannerist paintings on the façade is remarkable. Next to allegorical characters of Virtues in the spaces between windows and under windows there are mainly the portrait gallery of Czech rulers, located beneath the striping vault.
After completion of overall reconstruction of the museum building in 1992 followed gradual introductions of permanent expositions. The expositions named: “Renaissance, golden age of town” and “ Prachatice area in the mirror of archeology” in the mezzanine, “Renaissance, golden age of town” on the first floor and “Town culture in 19th century” on second floor were opened in 1993. In the next stage the exposition “Sacral sights of the region” was set up on the first floor. In fall of 2003 we started to refurnish and expand permanent expositions in expectations of 100th anniversary of the museum. The Exposition Renaissance was enriched by figurines and the exposition City Culture of 19th century was innovated in 2004.
After the master exhibition of 100th anniversary of the museum ended – Museum in the times of Monarch, it was decided to keep its core – period exposition of original museum – as a permanent exposition and to create an exhibition hall on the ground floor of the rear annex of the museum. That brought the possibility to separate entrance fee for short term exhibitions from fee for permanent exhibitions and to gradually enable wheelchair accessibility to the exhibitions. In the years 2006 - 2008 there was an Exposition CastlesGolden Route prepared next to exposition Golden Route and the central points of it were models of 4 castles that in Middle Ages guarded this important trade route. In 2008, in relation to the significant anniversary of writer Karl Klostermann, a long term exhibition Karel Klostermann and the World of Šumava Castles was opened, and the visitors may see the rule of some of castles and manors of the Šumava region as seen in Klostermann’s period. This exposition will be opened until the end of 2010. A gradual refurbishment of Renaissance exposition was finished in 2009. As of this season the visitors may view a figuration scene of sitting of Prachatice town council in 1609 and hence be victims of promotion of Prachatice to the position of royal town. In 2010 in Prachatice and in the wide area raging from Bavarian Passau to northern range of Šumava area from Prachatice to Kašperské Hory a glorious millennium celebration performed Golden route will be held. On that occasion the Prachatice museum will open a new exposition on Golden Route, which will present results of long term research of this well known medieval route and it will at the same time bring visitors back to its flourishing times and the exposition will intermediate its unique atmosphere.