Split Croatia museums are testimonies of its rich history from ancient times to the present day.

Split city museum - Papalica street
Split city museum – Papaliceva street

The town of Split is a real delight for history seekers. There are several interesting museums and galleries to choose from like:

The city of Split with a history spanning more than 2000 years, located in the middle of the Adriatic Sea, at the foot of gentle slopes of Kozjak and Biokovo, through its museums, reveals the rich proofs of its tumultuous history and culture.

Split Croatia Museums Map

Split has a long tradition of collecting and cultivation for monuments. The most of the cultural and historical traces, originate from, Salona, the largest site of ancient times monuments in Croatia.

Salona was back in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD a real cosmopolitan Dalmatian metropolis with 62 thousand inhabitants.

The first museum was founded in Renaissance period by Split nobleman and humanist Dominik Papalic (today the Split City Museum) in 16th century. In his private palace he gathered a wide collection of ancient inscriptions, he found exploring  through the ruins of Salona.

A Museum Under The Open Sky

Keep in mind – Most of Split Croatia museums and galleries are closed on Sunday.

One of the most memorable characteristics of Split city is Diocletian’s Palace, the historical urban core and unique museum, under the open sky.

Nowhere can one, inside this palace measuring 175-181 x 216 meters, find the spectacular works of art in stone and wood from Split cathedral made by master Andrija Buvina in 1214  with Mausoleum built by Emperor Diocletian. The perfect and unique combination of Romanesque and Roman architecture.

Diocletian mausoleum
Mausoleum built by Emperor Diocletian

Works in stone, marble and wood created in Split from the ancient times to the present day never remained only inside the churches and museums of the city, but are visible on the houses, facades, courtyards and in the historical core of the city, mostly built in the Romanesque and Gothic styles, a true masterpieces of urban culture.

Split City Museum

Located inside the old palace, is one of the most important and visited Split Croatia museums. The collection of cultural and museums activities  are associated with Papalic palace that houses the Museum of the City of Split.

In the late 15th and early 16th century in this remarkable Gothic-Renaissance palace, which belonged to a noble family Papalić Split, was a collection of ancient stone monuments from Salona.

The museum also contains a gallery of Emanuel Vidovic, dedicated to the most important Split painter of the 20th century and one of the foremost protagonists of Croatian modern painting.

Split’s city museum is worth a quick look both to wonder at the collection of medieval weaponry and to see the interior of this splendid 15th-century town house. The dining room, on the first floor, is furnished just as it once was when this noble family owned the house, giving some idea of how the nobility of that time lived.

The museum address is: Papaliceva ulica 1 Split. Telephone:  +385 21 360 171; Website. Admission fee is 20 Kuna.

Archaeological Museum

One of the best resources about Split Croatia museums, Ive found, is Tricia A. Mitchell blog, with superb collections of photos, taken inside this museum. See this blog page yourself before you decide to visit it. Thanks, Tricia!

Archaeological Museum in Split is the oldest among Split Croatia museums founded in 1820.  The original museum building was erected in 1821 along the eastern walls of Diocletian’s Palace, but it soon became too small for the growing number of monuments.

Museum’s key historical finds are from the nearby Roman capital of Salona, containing the mosaics,sarcophagi, potteries and a large collection of ancient coins, covering the Greek and Roman periods. It’s located in vicinity of the National Theater. It’s a worthy attraction, just a short walk from Split Riva waterfront and old palace.

Split's Archeological Museum courtyard
Split’s Archeological Museum courtyard (Photo via Tricia’s blog)

Museum address: Zrinsko-Frankopanska 25 Street, telephone  +385 (21) 329 340. Museum website. Admission fee 20 Kuna.

Split Maritime Museum

Maritime Museum boat
Maritime Museum boat

This museum is one of these, almost unknown among Split Croatia museums, usually rarely visited but considering seafaring tradition in Split, as an integral and inseparable part of city life.

he Croatian Maritime Museum is situated in the courtyard of the Gripe Fortress, which  played a crucial part in Split’s history, especially during the Cretan war (1645-1669) and during the Turks invasion (in 1657), giving a shelter to the city’s inhabitants.

The museum displays development of sailing ships from ancient times through to the age of steam, such as model ships and images of Dubrovnik’s and Boka’s (Montenegro) sailing boats, as well as the other vessels from the Dalmatian area.

Especially impressive are figureheads taken from 19th century ships from the island of Korcula.

Pomorski Muzej (Maritime Museum), Split
Pomorski Muzej (Maritime Museum) entrance

The everyday life of Croatian fishermen is illustrated with the story of the fishing tradition on the Adriatic, and includes exhibits on the coral trade, sponge aquaculture, fish canning factories, as well as fishermen at work and leisure. Visit the museum’s website.

Split Ethnographic Museum

This is one of the most fascinating Split Croatia museums and the oldest museum of its type in Croatia.

Founded in 1910, it was located in Pjaca Square and from 2004 the whole museum’s collection moved to today’s position, just behind the the St.Duje Cathedral.

Split Ethnographic Museum
Split Ethnographic Museum

The museum exposes the ethnographic objects from the area of Dalmatia and the wider area. It has very valuable collections of folk costumes, jewelers, arms, household inventory, traditional handicrafts.

Specially interesting are embroidered costumes in the reconstructed rooms of typical peasant houses.

Address: Severova 1, Phone: 021/344-164, 344-161, 343-108, Museum Website.

Working hours: Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday-Friday: 09:00-15:00; Thursday: 09:00-19:00; Saturday: 09:00-13:00

The Treasury of Split Cathedral

Visiting Split Croatia museums, this one is the most centrally located in the very heart of the old palace. You can’t miss it, as it’s on Diocletian palace peristyle square.

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.

Cathedral of Saint Domnius
Cathedral of Saint Domnius (Katedrala Svetog Duje) treasury

On the first floor of the sacristy is the cathedral treasury which contains relics of Saint Duje, which were brought to cathedral after his death.

Opening hours: daily – 07:00 to 12:00, 16:00 to 19:00
Admission fee: 10 Kuna. The fee includes entrance to the Cathedral tower bell. Phone: +385 21 342 589.

Jaksic Gallery

Jaksic family members
Jaksic family members

Besides Split Croatia museums, there are some private galleries worth visiting if you are interested in combination of modern and traditional art. One of them is Jaksic Gallery in Split, recently opened.

This great exhibition of paintings, stone sculptures and other art work in family owned art gallery is located in Bribirska street N° 10, telephone +385 21 647 710. It’s opened from 9:00 – 13:30 and 16:00 – 20:00.

Artistic talent of this family is the continuation of their famous grandfather, Lovre Jaksic, academic sculptor, whose story started in early 60s, creating a small gallery in Donji Humac, Brac island, the same place where today there is a big Jaksic gallery.

The Brac island stone story

What makes it worth visiting this gallery? In the space prevails Brac stone in his warmer and colder variant as the ideal combination of simplicity and elegance. Stone nurtured generations of the Brac island stone-dressers. It became and remained the symbol of human persistence and skills.
What Lovre Jaksic has started, his son Drazen continues…

Split Croatia Museums  – Live museum

From June 15th to September 15h 2015 a new museum, called Live Museum Split will be inaugurated. Experience life at the time of the Emperor Diocletian.

Split Live Museum
Split Live Museum

Living museum consists of authentic ancient Roman scenery and actors dressed in authentic costumes. You can see and learn about the emperor, senators, patricians, plebeians, soldiers, slaves and gladiators.

Address : bastion “Cornaro”, Kralja Tomislava 15
Contact: +385981309047, +385958975211.

They have interesting performances, based on historical narratives. Each performance lasts up to fifteen minutes. The museum is open every day. Website!

Located in the city center in the bastion “Cornaro” near the Statue of Gregory of Nin and Art Gallery, 50 meters from the Golden Gate of Diocletian’s Palace.

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