|About the museum:
After the Second World War, the Rijeka City Museum – Museo Civico di Fiume (founded in 1893) - and the Sušak City Museum merged to become the Museum of the Croatian Littoral.
The museum is situated in one of Rijeka’s most beautiful architectural works from the late 19th century. The Neo-Renaissance palace was designed by Hungarian architect Alajos Hauszmann and was built as the residence for the governor. Some of the interiors that were shaped by the contractors, painters, and sculptors from Rijeka, Trieste, and Budapest have been preserved in their original form.
The museum keeps material from Primorje-Gorski Kotar County and from Rijeka, as the city has been its centre from prehistory to the 20th century.
The museum's rich holdings are divided as follows: the Archaeological Department, with prehistoric, Antique and medieval collections; the Department of Maritime History, with historic reconstructions of ships, items of ship equipment, nautical instruments, and maps; and the Ethnographic and Cultural and Historical Department.
The museum’s lapidarium holds stone monuments from the 1st to the 19th century and consists of archaeological or accidental finds from the inner city area, parts of destroyed architectural monuments and inscriptions, and coats of arms of Rijeka's patrician families and captains. Besides several Roman inscriptions, there is an altar dedicated to the pre-Roman Liburnian divinity Sentona, early medieval fragments, and two paterae from the 12th and 13th centuries. In the group of inscriptions, two items from the 16th century are particularly valuable: a beam with an inscription by the master craftsman Gašpar from 1561, and a tablet with an inscription by Archdeacon Grahovac. An interesting collection contains familial coats of arms (for example, the coat of arms of the Carminelli family from AD 1500) and the coats of arms of the city of Rijeka from the 18th and 19th centuries.
The Governor's Palace is something of an exhibit in itself as it depicts the history of the city, especially its political, cultural and economic history. The museum aims to maintain a segment of the palace which best represents its history. The White Salon, the Marble Hall, and the impressive atrium on the first floor have all been preserved in their original states.
Through the Window of the Governor's Palaceand The Time Traces are thematic units of the permanent exhibition.
The exhibition From Fidelissima to the Dearest Rijeka, located in the ceremonial halls of the palace, covers the political history of the city.The exhibition begins with the painting Arrival of Emperor Charles VI in Rijeka and models illustrating the city in the early 18th and mid-20th centuries. In addition, there are interactive attractions that add to the given information about the most important city buildings. The painting Submission of Rijeka to Hungary in 1776 evokes the events that followed the establishment of Severin County. Aside from the portrait of the first Governor Josef Maylath, there are also portraits of another thirteen governors who had administered Rijeka from 1776 to the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918 in the study. A portrait of Lajos Batthyány, a politician during the time the Governor's Palace was built, is displayed among them. Visitors can also see the former library, which now houses portraits of members of the Habsburg Monarchy, as well as a large portrait of Emperor Franz Joseph I. It also contains the cup that he donated to the city of Rijeka in 1875, which inaugurated the establishment of the museum.
The White Salon displays portraits of the Great Prefect Bartol Benedikt Zmajić and his wife Ana, valuable works by the Rijeka painter G. Simonetti, and an unusual set of polychrome sculptures of the devil and his fiancée.
For a time the Italian poet, bohemian and adventurer Gabriele d'Annunzio – (who ruled Rijeka for 16 months from 1919–1920) - had his home in the Governor's Palace. The palace was bombed in order to facilitate his banishment from Rijeka. A portrait of d’Annunzio, a portrait of the Italian king Vittorio Emanuele, the painting Italia o Morte by Carlo Wostry, films, and documents depict the period of the rule of D'Annunzio, the independent State of Rijeka, and the Italian administration that lasted until 1943.
Many entrepreneurs, scientists, and artists have left their mark on Rijeka. The exhibits include portraits of: Andrija Ljudevit Adamić, a trader who was involved in building Rijeka in the early 19th century, and members of his family; Count Laval Nugent, the owner of Trsat, a field marshal, collector, and the founder of the first museum in Rijeka; the printer Karletzky with his wife; and Karolina Belinić, known as Caroline of Rijeka, who saved Rijeka from the shelling of 1813. There is also a portrait of Anibale Ploech, one of the inventors of torpedoes, and a bust of Dr. Franjo Kresnik (1869-1943), a physician from Sušak, as well as an expert Cremonese luthier and violinmaker.
The interiors illustrate the Central European civic culture of the 19th century via an abundance of utility and decorative glass and porcelain items. In addition to the stylish and functionally valuable items made of glass, ceramics, and metals, there are interesting clocks from the early 18th to the mid-20th century, including clocks made by famous French, English, Swiss, and Hungarian clockmakers. Particularly interesting items include a standing clock with a wooden mechanism made by an unknown German master, a tabernacle clock made by the 18th century London clockmaker Daniel Quare, as well as a mantelpiece clock made by the Rijeka clockmaker Ferdinand Busetti in 1870.
The exhibition of weapons displays weapons characteristic of the 17th through mid-20th centuries.
The gallery on the second floor presents portraits of sea captains, as well as paintings, models, ship logs, documents, and ship equipment illustrating the Kvarner seafarers’ journeys across the oceans of the world. The gallery also displays 12 paintings by the greatest portraitist of sailing ships of the 19th century, Bartol Ivanković; the log of the boat Stefano, including the first Aboriginal-Italian dictionary of maritime terminology; and a life preserver from the Titanic.