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A Guide to Dubrovnik Museums

The city is a museum itself, ornamented with historical churches, houses, and palaces carved in white stone, witnessing the clash between ancient and everyday life.  

Once you step inside Dubrovnik Old City you will feel as if you've walked into a movie set, behind the authentic scenes from another (long gone) world. And you will not be mistaken. It's no surprise, then, that Dubrovnik, with its reputation, has a thriving cultural museum scene that tells the story of the past, art, science, and even life itself. And they are all well worth seeing when exploring Dubrovnik, as one would expect from a city rich in history, tradition, and natural beauty.

Dubrovnik Museums unites Cultural History Museum in the Rector’s Palace, Maritime Museum in Fort St John, Ethnographic Museum Rupe, and Archaeological exhibitions in Revelin Fort. 

The origins of the Cultural History Museum go way back to 1872 when the Patriotic Museum was founded. The museum's collection includes approximately 20,000 artifacts collected between the end of the 15th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, with a focus on cultural, historical, and artistic significance. The permanent exhibition is housed in the Rector's Palace and presents the artistic and historical heritage of the Dubrovnik Republic, so if you want to experience the rector’s life on your own you’ve come to the right place! The state offices, courtroom, and jail on the ground floor, as well as the church, reception rooms, and the rector's apartment on the first floor, with his library, central space, and bedroom will leave you speechless. 

Have you ever heard of Miho Pracat, whose bust can be found today in the Rector's Palace? He was the first and the only commoner in the Dubrovnik Republic to whom a monument was erected. The statue is the work of Italian sculptor Jacometti, completed in 1638. The statue is shown in the sixth episode of the second season of the Game of Thrones series, which was filmed in the Rector's Palace.

Dubrovnik Natural History Museum also has a long tradition and was first founded in 1872, with a donation from the Chamber of Trade and Crafts and the private collection of pharmacist and ship-owner Antun Drobac. Museums encourage children to discover our enthralling world, and this one will do just that with its fascinating collection of 100-year-old taxidermy specimens. 

Dubrovnik is known for its rich maritime tradition. At the Maritime Museum, located inside St John fortress, you can marvel at Dubrovnik's prosperous maritime history and how its sailing tradition has evolved over the centuries, all the way since Antiquity. Today, the museum proudly holds over five thousand objects classified into fifteen collections. 

Rupe Ethnographic Museum showcases the granary and storage of the state grain and wheat reserves in deep pits cut into the rock. Acquaint yourselves with the customs and folk costume of the Dubrovnik region, and remember that you are observing a significant piece of the living history of the region.

Home of Marin Držić is the smallest museum in Dubrovnik. The museum is dedicated to the life and work of one of the greatest Croatian comedians - Marin Držić. It is a theatre museum, a scientific-documentary institute, and an exhibition space. 

Parts of the Franciscan pharmacy (Europe's third oldest working pharmacy) are on display at the Franciscan Monastery Museum, located in the renaissance hall accessible from the cloister. The museum guards paintings from renowned painters, a collection of artefacts and liturgical items, gold jewellery, and other valuables.

Now, let’s talk about something more contemporary!

The interesting newcomer, a peculiar time capsule of the Yugoslavian everyday life of the working-class, is presented in Red History Museum. “Experience almost half a century of life under the communist regime - from secret services and the communist party to pop culture and the development of consumer society.” as stated on their official web page.  

Dubrovnik is fortunate to have a variety of art galleries that represent its painters' work from the Dubrovnik Colourist School of Painting to more contemporary art exhibitions and collections. Established in 1945, the Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik, stokes imagination, ignites minds and inspires. 

The recent history of Dubrovnik is captured in two war museums: Homeland War Museum and War Photo Limited. Both nestled in superb locations, they tell an unbelievable story of Croatia’s devastating recent past.

Dubrovnik is widely known as one of the most romantic cities in the world so it's kind of expected to discover that it treasures Love Story Museum. Established with the idea of presenting real personal love stories and objects of great sentimental value from all four corners of the world, this is one of the most romantic museums you’ll ever see!

Explore Dubrovnik's remarkably diverse museum scene, and you'll be conveyed to a whole another world, concealed behind its narrow streets, warm sun, and a turquoise sea. Indeed, a true gem of the Adriatic in every way!

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