About the Guide
- Information on over 300 museums, collections and permanent exhibitions in Croatia
- An overview of 265 museums and collections, plus 35 sacral collections and treasuries of religious communities
- 6 regions with maps
- 650 photographs of museums, museum displays and exhibits
- Ground plans of 31 permanent exhibitions, sites and open-air museums
- Valuable museum objects
- Visitor Information, Directions, and Amenities/ Facilities
- Indexes according to towns, types of museum collections, important historical figures, and a glossary of terms
From the Foreword
The Guide is divided into six regions marked in different colours. Within each region, museums are listed according to counties, and then according to the alphabetical order of the towns and settlements. In this way, visitors to a particular region or town are given a comprehensive picture of the museums and collections and can more easily plan their visits.
A special appendix provides a presentation of museums, collections and treasuries held by religious communities that are accessible to the public.
The „Guide to Croatian Museums and Collections“ received the annual Croatian Museum Association award for publication in 2011.
The „Guide“ was accessioned into the German Book and Type Museum, a constituent part of the German National Library in Leipzig.
From the Foreword
Višnja Zgaga, Editor-in-Chief
This Guide presents some three hundred museums, collections, permanent exhibitions, and sacral collections, which hold nearly 7 million items in all. Exceptional specimens of flora and fauna, the geomorphological wealth of rocks and minerals, and endemic species can be found among the holdings of our natural history museums. The materials that are housed within the majority of our museums and collections consist of items created, designed, and shaped by the human hand from prehistory to the present. Only a fraction of the artistic, cultural, and scientific oeuvres contained by these museums are displayed through permanent and temporary exhibitions. The astounding wealth and value of Croatia’s cultural and artistic heritage can also be found among the inventory of churches, within their collections and treasuries. These collections reflect our cultural and national identity and constitute a part of the larger body of European heritage held in a network of over 40,000 museums across the the continent. The art and artefacts within these museums have been collected since the first museums and collections in Croatia were established almost 200 years ago. The great majority of these museums were established by the activities of associations and a number of enthusiasts, as well as through donations. Indeed, large and valuable private collections led to the establishment of a fair number of famous and significant Croatian museums and collections.
This Guide brings you the most updated and standardised information on Croatian museums and collections, as well as the rich and diverse knowledge stored within them. It is metaphorically claimed that “museums are the conscience of the world”, but in our case they also have other “operational” dimensions. This Guide is therefore a kind of catalogue that both informs and saves this valuable cultural and natural heritage from slipping into oblivion. In addition, by providing an insight into the inventory of museum holdings, it mitigates the fear of a possible loss of national identity.
The Guide is expected to have multiple uses since it presents for the first time a clear and concise overview of the value and contents of museum material that has been collected, researched, and exhibited in the museums and collections of local communities, small towns, and semi-urban settlements. This cultural wealth exists beyond the focus of the local and international cultural public. This publication will not only reveal it to the public, but will also provide readers with an opportunity to examine its scientific and professional content.
The Museum Documentation Centre published a similar guide some twenty years ago; this edition distinctly shows the improvements and advancements that have marked the last 20 years. This Guide includes the addition of some seventy new museums, collections, and permanent exhibitions, as well as thirty-five sacral collections exhibited in monasteries and churches. Private museums and museum collections, which are also recorded in this Guide, represent a new phenomenon on the Croatian museum scene. Since gaining independence in 1991, Croatia has seen the building of five new museums. Their architectural value and their contents represent a great step forward in the creation of Croatian museum space, and also in keeping with the spirit of contemporary world trends. Despite the tremendous damage inflicted at the time of the Homeland War (1991-1995), this Guide shows that, even in such circumstances, Croatian museology succeeded in developing its activity both in quantitative and qualitative terms. Permanent museum exhibitions have been enhanced with new types of displays, contemporary and intriguing themes, modern design, strong and varied publishing activity, and the application of new information technologies. These aspects of museum activity have made museum displays more attractive, which has in turn contributed to a higher visitation rate at museums and museum events. It is not presumptuous to say that Croatia has been slowly, but very thoroughly, building its museum brand. We believe that this publication will improve communication between museums and their audience.
Hopefully, this Guide will also become an essential tool for research into the cultural heritage and contemporary creative art of Croatia. It will be useful in planning the itinerary of school excursions, in organising quality free time for families, and in assisting travel agencies in promoting cultural tourism sites. The lexicographic approach of the Guide is based on information about museums and their holdings and on the processing of the inventory of museums and collections, which the Museum Documentation Centre (MDC) has been compiling and updating each year. Thus, significant museological units, important periods, historical contexts, significant people, and events have been identified; artistic and stylistic periods, and archaeological and ethnographical units have been highlighted.
The task of the MDC in producing this publication has been to single out and present to the public – from the multitude of systematically collected information (which have been compiled according to the professional rules and standards of the heritage professions) - those data that are expected to be of interest to a broad circle of users, museum visitors, and readers.
And, finally, this Guide both directly and indirectly affirms the individual and collective work of many generations of museum professionals in Croatia. All the colleagues and associates who have been committed to working collaboratively on this comprehensive and complex project would like this Guide to help readers and museum visitors to broaden their knowledge about the wealth of Croatian museums in proportion to the efforts invested into the creation of this publication.
(Višnja Zgaga, Editor-in-Chief)
From the Concept of the Guide
For nearly twenty years, the Museum Documentation Centre (MDC) has been keeping the Museum Register and collecting, processing, and publishing data on Croatian museums. The basic criterion for recording a museum in the Register is the existence of material organised into a collection, regardless of the administrative and legal status of the museum. This Guide is based on such data.
The Guide presents 265 museums and collections, ranging from institutions with a long tradition of housing material of exceptional cultural and national value, to small collections and historic houses created with the support of local communities and individuals. We have made efforts to cover as many museums and collections available to the public as possible, provided that the collections are registered as cultural property.
We are also aware that there are a certain number of (small) collections that have not been included in this publication. This is due to a lack of information about the collections or their inaccessiblity to visitors.
Each museum is presented through a text that stresses the wealth of the museum's holdings and that informs visitors about permanent exhibitions. Noteworthy and valuable items are highlighted and ground plans are provided for 31 large museums, as well as several archaeological sites and open air museums.
The column on the right of the page provides the address (or several addresses if the museum has multiple locations) and contact information, instructions on how to reach the museum, and web addresses. It also provides basic information on the year when the museum was founded, the type of collection, and practical visitor information on opening times, admission fees, guided tours, disabled access, museum shops, and restaurants or cafés.
Information is specifically given on whether or not there is a permanent exhibition, as well as the services offered, such as conservation and restoration workshops, libraries, and archives, and their availability.
We are well aware that a large part of this information is subject to quick and significant changes, but in conjunction with information provided on the museum websites and with that provided on the MDC website (http://www.mdc.hr/en/museums-in-croatia/overview-of-museums/
) - where data are regularly updated - this problem can be overcome.
The cover of the Guide contains a QR code which, when read by a smart phone with a suitable application, leads to the MDC website which supplements the contents of this publication.
This Guide is devoted primarily to those who find themselves in a certain part of the country and who wish to visit a museum in a particular Croatian town. Therefore, the Guide is divided into six regions, which are graphically marked in different colours. The museums within the regions are listed according to the counties where they are located, and then in the alphabetical order of the towns and settlements. In this way, visitors to a certain region or town are given a comprehensive picture of the museum scene in the territory where they find themselves, and can better plan their visit.
Each museum has been allocated a number; that same number is marked on the maps and in the lists on the introductory page to each region, and is used as a reference number in the indexes at the back of the Guide.
The indexes provide lists of museums and collections according to towns and according to the type of material they hold or exhibit. There is also an index of terms and an index of persons to whom the museums or parts of permanent exhibitions are devoted.
Due to their specific status and organisation, the texts and visitor information for 35 museums and collections held by religious communities are presented in the Annex at the end of the Guide, as well as basic visitor information on roughly one hundred such collections.
(Markita Franulić, Editor)