The Archaeological Museum in Split is the oldest museum in Croatia; it was founded in the 1820 by the Decree of the Dalmatian government in Zadar. The first museum building was built in 1821 from eastern walls of Diocletian palace, but it soon became too small for the increasing number of archaeological monuments. A catholic priest, archaeologist, historian and conservationist don Frane Bulic was responsible for the construction of the present building of the Archaeological Museum in Split which is situated in the house built according to the project of the Viennese architects August Kirstein and Friedrich Ohmann from 1912 to 1914 and it was renewed in 1970 on its 150 anniversary.
The Museum has a big collection of different historical items including a large collection of Antique and Medieval coins, very important collections of stone epitaphs from Salona, Greek Hellenistic ceramics, Roman glass, clay lamps and many other objects made out of bone, metal, and gems. The monuments such as sculptures and epitaphs are exhibited in the portico of the lapidarium and the chronological sequence of all cultures from prehistory to the Early Middle Ages is exposed in the exhibition hall.
The Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments - The Archaeological Museum is the only museum in Croatia which was founded with the unique task of researching, collecting, and studying of material and spiritual culture of the Croats in the Middle Ages, from the 7th to 15th century, particularly from the time of early medieval Croatia from 9th to 12th century. The Museum has a collection of about 20,000 items which is one of the largest collections of this kind in Europe. Epigraphic monuments from the 9th to 12th with the engraved names of Croatian monarchs and other secular and religious dignitaries represent the oldest Croatian archive - "archive in stone."
The Split City Museum - the foundation of this museum is closely related to the City library established in 1911 in which two rooms were assigned to The Split City Museum. After that, in 1975 the museum becomes independent and in 1976 it opens for the public in the palace Bernardi. Today's selection of museum exhibits, by chronological order, follows the long history and structural development of Split through architectural, cultural and artistic activities. The Split City Museum is also home to the Emanuel Vidovic Gallery, dedicated to the most important Split painter of the 20th century - one of the best known protagonists of Croatian modern painting.
The Ethnographic Museum has a wide scale of ethnographic items from Dalmatia, but also from other cultural areas. The museum collects original and contemporary applications of traditional heritage, and it follows contemporary folk culture of living with traces of old basics. The Ethnographic Museum in Split preserves and promotes the value of folk heritage by renewing and exhibiting ethnographic and ethnological fields.
The Treasury of Split Cathedral is the most valuable one in Croatia. It keeps the items from the 8th to 20th century: very valuable golden artifacts and other church garments, books and other relics of saints and martyrs. Cathedral treasury contains relics of Saint Duje, which were brought to the cathedral after his death. Among silver items, it is worth to mention the "Madonna with a Child and 11 apostles", a panel painting from the beginning of the 14th century, which once was a part of altar in the cathedral St. Duje, probably made by Italian masters, but it is also not excluded that the author is some local artist. Other treasures include objects like chalices and reliquaries by goldsmiths from the 13th to the 19th century and mass vestments from the 14th till 19th century. It also contains some valuable books like the Book of gospels from the 6th century, the Supetar cartulary from the 11th century and the Historia Salonitana by Toma the Archdeacon from Split in the 13th century.
Croatian Maritime Museum - Split is located on Gripe Fortress which played a decisive role in history of Split and it was built as a response to constant raids by the Turks who started threatening the Diocletian Palace. The Museum exhibition contains ships, arms, wars, sailing ships, archive and library. Croatian Maritime Museum is a modern museum institution in which the military and civil maritime history remains are successfully bounded and where all the visitors have the opportunity to see the mariners' way of life.
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