|About the museum:
The Cultural History Museum of Dubrovnik Museums is located in the Rector’s Palace. In the 13th century a castle or castellum is mentioned at the site where the Rector’s Palace later developed. It was surrounded with four corner towers. The transformation of fort into palace took place during the 14th century, taking its cue from the tradition of the Roman imperial palace, and the Venetian palace (the main elevation opened up with a portico in the centre with two flanking towers). It obtained its current appearance (a two storey building with four wings that enclose an inner courtyard, a portico with a small gallery mezzanine and a large gallery on the first floor) after the renovation in the 15th century, after the demolition of the old palace in an explosion of powder in 1 435. The new palace in the Late Gothic style was built by Neapolitan engineer Onofrio de la Cava who also built the aqueduct and two public fountains in Dubrovnik (1435-1440). The sculpture on the building was probably made by Pietro di Martino of Milan, architect and sculptor. The building was to be damaged in a major way twice more. In 1463 there was yet another powder explosion, and in 1667, as a result of the great earthquake, which demolished a great deal of the city. Two well known artists worked on the renovation of the building after 1463: M. Michelozzo from Florence and George of Dalmatia from Zadar. Alas the palace was not renewed according to Michelozzo’s plans. The new Renaissance style placed its stamp only on details. At the same period the building had the facade towers abbreviated and levelled with the height of the central part, losing the Palace its Gothic perpendicularity for the sake of the Renaissance horizontals. The disastrous earthquake of 1667 damaged on the whole the interior of the building (the pillars and arches of the court and gallery), and this was renovated at the end of the 17th century with Gothic characteristics, with some Baroque remodellings. In the courtyard there is a monument to Miho Pracat, a rich commoner, and celebrated sailor from the island of Lopud. This sole public monument of the Republic is the work of the sculptor P. Giacometti of Recanati. The last reconstruction of the building in 1982-1984 came after an earthquake in 1989. In the ground floor of the building, at the time of the Republic, there was the state chancellery and notary’s office, a court and the jails. The old armoury and the court of the Small Council lay in the mezzanine of the southern wing. In the eastern wing were the rooms occupied by the watch. Above the great staircase of the atrium, through a door marked “Obliti privatorum – publica curate / Forget personal matters, take care of the public” one entered the hall of the Great Council (demolished in 1863), while another door led to the state rooms of the palace and the rector’s own quarters. These consisted of study, central hall and bedroom. In the neighbourhood of the rector’s dwelling there was a court chapel. In front of the hall was the lobby of the guard of honour that stood here during the time foreign envoys had audiences with the rector. All these rooms are now furnished with antique furniture, old objects and paintings. In the eastern wing of the upper floor, onto the sea, lay the quarters of the jailer and the hall of the Senate.