Secret Dalmatia Blog - Travel Experiences in Croatia

Ethnographic Museum of Split

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From this year, we will include a visit to the Ethnographic Museum of Split with our private Walking tour of Split. Just before Christmas, my guide Rada took us there for a lovely exhibition of traditional chests that were used to store valuables or personal items.
Since I haven’t been there in a while, it was a great opportunity to see the rest of this exceptional museum.

One of my favorite exhibitions in all of Croatian museums!

The museum is easy to reach: jest behind the Vestibule (on Persitil square) one can easily see the sign. It moved there only recently. Ethnographic Museum of Split was founded in 1910. The ethnography of the whole of Dalmatia is represented so it would be better called the Ethnographic Museum of Dalmatia. The most typical costumes of all the Dalmatian regions are on dislay: the clothing from Ravni Kotari, Knin, Vrlika, Imotski, Poljica…

The intricate designs. Some elements are from the Avar times like the pattern's on the girl's dress!
Packing heat! ...back in the day
Accessorizing! Girls will always be girls...

Various trades are on display in the museum: pottery, knitting, handiwork (woodcarving, basketry, the making of footwear). The museum presents the basic forms of economic life from mostly last 200 years or so…
I especially enjoy the elements of urban Split from 19th and early 20th century and some wonderful pieces can be seen like this bedroom:

Typical bedroom of late 19th century...and later

Another interesting fact about this museum is that it is set in Diocletian’s former apartment in the south part of the palace! The museum also houses the church of St. Andrew de Fenestris, the former convent of St. Clare and is touching the Emperor’s former kitchen!

At he moment, the museum is exhibiting it’s fabulous collection of wooden chests. Almost every one of us has at least one of these from our grandparents or even earlier. My wife’s family has about 3 of them and one is particularly special since it belonged to a great-grandfather sailing in the Austro-Hungarian navy and has the year 1887. on it. We saw only one like that in the museum but they focused mostly on the rural chests with intricate designs.

Chests and parts of covers on display on the walls of the Emperor's quarters. He would have been thrilled with all the Christian motives!
More classical carvings on these very old chests

The museum is a superb place to learn more on our culture and amazing tradition. Dalmatian (and Croatian in general) traditional costumes are extremely intricate and unique in design and sharing a lot with the very ancient traditions of pre-christian cultures: both Slavic and Illyrian.

So, this museum should be high on your list if interested in authentic Dalmatian traditions and all our clients will get there as this is truly a must see when in Split. Here are more details:

Etnografski muzej Split
Iza Vestibula 4, 21000 Split
Severova 1 (Izložbeni prostor)
tel/fax: +385 21 344 164, 344 161, 343 108
e-mail:etnografski-muzej-st@st.t-com.hr

Prices:
Adult: 10,00 kn
Students: 5,00 kn
Groups: 5,00 kn

http://www.etnografski-muzej-split.hr

They also have a superb book store! (mostly in Croatian)

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