The Museum of Benkovac is one little gem hidden away from most of the “regular” tourists. Actually, it is not listed on tours of any agency except on our “Lost Roman Cities” day trip in Zadar area. It will be featured on our upcoming walking in Dalmatia project coming up in Fall.
Museum is located in the historic fortress of Benkovic Family dating back to the 15th century and the wars between the local nobility. Benkovac was important ever since the Roman times and continued to be so up to the Turkish conquest of the region.
The fortress is in need of urgent works to continue preservation of the walls and the buildings but also to create a permanent exhibition of the riches it houses.
The main court is ideal for smaller gatherings and private parties! We also had a teambuilding “Treasure Hunt” staged in the museum for a group of bank directors…
The museum houses mostly the artifacts from the Roman period found on the nearby Asseria – ruined Roman city. Another artifacts come from the medieval period when Croatian warriors started populating these areas and there are some pieces from the Turkish wars. The area is constantly in turmoil ever since the Illyiran tribes settled here. The last conflict ended in 1995…A lot of history has been lost but there is plenty left!
Majority of the artifacts are the remains from Asseria: parts of the frieze, different sacral monuments, unique tomb marks called “cipus” and originating from Illyrian times before Roman conquest.
The most precious piece ever found in the area is definitely an altar with representation of the Roman she-wolf. one of the two ever found outside Rome itself!!! It was probably a gift from someone very important in Rome, to the community of Asseria which was a very important city in it’s times. It is documented that the Emperor Trajan even visited here on his way to Dacia – in modern day Romania.
Benkovac museum is a lovely place especially from Spring to late Fall offering great views of the surrounding area and a great introduction to local history. Unfortunately, the city of Benkovac ran out of funds for the museum and it is now closed – can be accessed only by an appointment. Since we know the curator … :)))