One of the finest museums in Croatia is definitely The Museum of Antique Glass in Zadar. The museum opened it’s doors this past spring after years of restoration of the beautiful classical Cosmacendi palace (1877) located on the former defense wall of Zadar called “muraj”. The architect Silađin did a terrific job with the interiors but the outside addition – huge modern glass block – is more than unsuccessful.
The museum has been a result of decades of archaeological excavations in Dalmatia and Croatia and will be home to one of the world’s largest collection of glass objects from the Roman period. Some of the most interesting pieces have been dug out only recently, when the works for the new shopping mall unearthed a huge graveyard in the part of Zadar called Relja. At least some good from all those shopping malls! The museum site has a nice video of this excavations: here.
This past Friday was “Night at the museum” event in all of Croatia. Thousands were out in the streets and visiting the museums all over Croatia. Zadar was behind Zagreb and Split when it came to numbers, but besides the recently opened Museum of Modern Art in Zagreb, the Museum of Antique Glass in Zadar is probably the most attractive museum in Croatia.
The museum houses some of the finest samples of glass objects from the earliest days and the first and the ground floors are great introduction to the riches of the glass manufacturing in the Roman times. There are artifacts from all over the country since this is now the place where all the antique glass will be stored and studied. The ground floor also has a small hall with projections and can be used for lectures.
But it is the second floor that makes you go wow!
The exhibits are simply stunning and the entire arrangement of this floor tells the story of the excavations in Zadar and even shows what it looked like when unearthed.
The collection of glass urns is simply breathtaking!
The museum captivates even the people who know nothing of the glass and the manufacturing of it from the earliest days! The next rooms contain some of the rarest examples of Roman glass craftsmanship in the world!
Some of the samples were just unbelievable display of knowledge and skills of ancient artists!
But the museum does not stop to surprise and exceed the expectations only there! The third floor is reserved for actual glass blowing studio!
Behind the glass, two of the last glass blowers in Croatia – Podhraški family from Hum na Sutli (Zagorje region) keep doing their magic and reproduction the glass bottles and cups just like the ancient Romans did!
Their artwork can be bought in the museum store.
Here is just a short sample of the “show”!
Museum of Antique Glass in Zadar is one the best museums in the country due to very interesting display, modern approach to exhibiting artifacts and the very beauty of the location. It is simply a must when in the region even if your knowledge of antique glass is not something you like to share 🙂 Great place for entire family and great place to learn about this wonderful tradition!
Address: Poljana Zemaljskog odbora 1
Tel: +385 (0)23 363 833
Tel: +385 (0)23 363 830
Fax: +385 (0)23 363 834
MON – SUN: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
MON – FRI 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
– adults 30 kuna,
– group price 20 kuna (5+ persons),
– students 10 kuna