Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee while observing SOCIAL DISTANCING!
Museums and Galleries

Museums and Galleries, Zadar, Croatia (A)

With its developed network of museums and galleries, Zadar rightly positions itself as an independent cultural centre of the Dalmatia region, however, its heritage institutions do not lack a significance on the wider, Croatian and European scale. Discover and enjoy the sites of your choice with this self-guided walking tour.
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Walk Route

Guide Name: Museums and Galleries
Guide Location: Croatia » Zadar
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (A))
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 1.0 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 Km or 0.8 Miles
Author: Nora Zothová
Author Bio: My educational background ranges from the arts to economy. I studied a secondary art school with Graphic Design as the major. Following studies included Humanities, Art Therapy. For the past few years, I have been freelance translating and lecturing English as a Foreign Language. Lately, I graduated in Arts Management. I am currently living in Dalmatia. Keen on ancient artefacts, sightseeing, visual arts and architecture. Well acquainted with the Dalmatian folklore and lifestyle.
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Zadar City Museum
  • Archeological Museum
  • Ethnological Department
  • Exhibition Pavilion
  • Duke's Palace
  • Natural History Department
  • Gallery of Fine Arts
  • Museum of Ancient Glass
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Zadar City Museum

1) Zadar City Museum

The City Museum is run as the cultural and historical department of Zadar’s Public Museum. Its 1960’s building replaced a monastery destroyed during the Allies’ WWII bombarding of the city. The museum prides with a collection of objects of cultural and historical value that spans from the 13th to the 19th century. On the ground floor, you will find mediaeval and Renaissance stone fragments, old majolica, and probably items that are exhibited temporarily, such as the objects found in a 16th century sunken merchant galley. On the first floor then, there is an Italian Renaissance and Baroque furniture salon next to a Biedermeier salon set. Up on the second floor, there is a collection of portraits of the Nassis family dating around 1600 and several Baroque portraits by unknown authors. The museum is open weekdays 9-12 and 18-21, on Saturdays 9-13.
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Archeological Museum

2) Archeological Museum

Founded in 1832, Zadar’s Archaelogical Museum is the second oldest in Croatia and belongs among the oldest in this part of Europe. If you like to follow the chronological order, you should begin exploring its impressive early and late Stone Age collections on the second floor, which document prehistoric ceramic art and other crafts of local cultures up to the Iron Age Liburnian culture. On the first floor, you may gain a nice insight into the life in northern Dalmatia under the Romans, aided in your endeavour by the scale-model of Roman Zadar as well as a number of objects that were found mostly in graves. Finally, the late ancient and Byzantine period material is to be found on the ground floor. In the summer season, the museum is open 9-14 and 17-21.
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Ethnological Department

3) Ethnological Department

The museum was founded in 1945, and for one decade starting from 1952 it also stood as an independent museum, to be later again incorporated under the Public Museum of Zadar. The collections document the traditional rural culture of northern Dalmatia, with the majority of items amassed in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Of great documentary value is the museum’s audiovisual archive, particularly for its records of a number of traditional crafts and characteristic customs. In the summer season, the pavilion is open weekdays 8-12 and 17-20, Saturday 9-13.
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Exhibition Pavilion

4) Exhibition Pavilion

The City Loggia is a Renaissance building, a former seat of the municipal court, which is currently used as the only display site for the numerous collections of the Zadar Gallery of Fine Arts. As such, we cannot but recommend that you go and see if the exhibition that is currently on strikes a chord with your art interests. Easily accessible from the People’s Square (Narodni trg), it can be a brief stop amid refreshment in one of the cafés in the square’s vicinity, or you can drop by later, when on another of our tours. In the summer season, the pavilion is open weekdays and Saturday 9-22, on Sunday 9-13.
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Duke's Palace

5) Duke's Palace

The Duke’s Palace and the attached Providur’s Palace have only recently seen a demanding, although still partial, restoration. Both sites were devastated during WWII. The Duke’s Palace contains Roman and Gothic elements and saw a major Renaissance make-over. It is now to serve as a temporary exhibition facility for the Public Museum of Zadar before the museum’s plans to establish a Heritage Museum in the palace are realised. Quite recently too, the immediate frontal surroundings of the palace, the Square of Šime Budinić and the flanking Square of Petar Zoranić, have been undergoing an extensive archaelogical research, which has proven very fruitful. The city’s plans as to the use of the palace should help in restoring the status of this Old Town’s area. In the summer season, the palace is open weekdays and Saturday 10-22, on Sunday 9-13.
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Natural History Department

6) Natural History Department

The fourth of the departments of the Public Museum of Zadar is the obvious choice for nature enthusiasts, and families with kids. The Natural History museum department was founded as early as 1832. In 1905, the museum began its independent existence, which lasted until 1962. It is one of the oldest museums of its kind in Croatia and continues its mission of collecting, researching and presenting the flora and fauna of the broader Zadar and neighbouring areas. The department nowadays holds 25 collections, including the valuable Pappafava’s 19th century botanical collection and several local malacological collections dating from the 19th and 20th century. Check out the current display on the first floor of the rather run-down facility. Currently, there is no permanent exhibition. In the summer season, the museum is open weekdays 9-12 and 18-21, Saturdays 9-13.
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Gallery of Fine Arts

7) Gallery of Fine Arts

The Zadar Gallery of Fine Arts, too, dates its origin back to 1945, and since 1962 it has been a part of the Public Museum of Zadar. As its permanent site in the Providur’s Palace is seeing a complex renovation, the Gallery currently only stages temporary exhibitions in the Exhibition Pavilion of the City Loggia and in the Duke’s Palace. Its five collections contain a large proportion of 20th century Croatian artwork obtained through acquisitions and donations, but also hold works of art dating from the 17th, 18th and 19th century. Check out the current exhibition in the City Loggia, which is accessible directly from the People’s Square (Narodni trg).
8
Museum of Ancient Glass

8) Museum of Ancient Glass

Situated in the former Classicist Cosmacendi Palace overlooking the city’s port, the museum hosts an extraordinary collection of antique glassware, for which it owes particularly to the abundance of finds in the burial sites of antiquity in northern Dalmatia. The exhibition might surprise you with the scope of glass vessels, all demonstrating a high-level of craftsmanship. The museum’s elevated location as well as its spotless front grass arrangement make it a pleasurable place to rest and relax your mind. The museum’s concept, interior and accompanying music, mediate the aesthetic experience, fully on a par with contemporary museum standards. The museum is open weekdays and Saturday 9-21.