|About the museum:
The museum was founded in 1962. It is located in the palace of the Vukasović family, one of the most respected and influential aristocratic families of Senj. The palace was built in the Gothic-Renaissance style in the 14th and 15th centuries. It represents an exceptional example of the profane architecture of Senj.
The museum's permanent exhibition features: an Archaeological and Hydro-Archaeological Collection (comprising archaeological finds such as stone monuments, sculptures of divinities, architectural elements, and tombs), a Collection of Texts in the Glagolitic Script and Glagolitic Printing, Senj’s Maritime Affairs though History, the Senj Intellectual Circle, Senj and its Inhabitants in the Croatian Homeland War, the Bunjevci Ethnographic Collection, and the Velebit Natural History Collection.
In the Middle Ages, Senj was known for the Glagolitic script. Glagolitic was probably formed in the 11th century as a tool for evangelising the Slavs. Glagolitic stone monuments (and their facsimiles) exhibited in the museum attest to the development and use of Glagolitsa in the area during the 14th and 15th centuries. A Glagolitic printing house was founded in Senj in 1494. It was among the first printing houses in Eastern Europe. Two known incunabula were printed there: Senjski glagoljski misal and Spovid općena.
The Bunjevci Ethnographic Collection adds a specific quality to the museum. The Bunjevci are the most numerous Croatian ethnic group, originating from western Herzegovina and western Bosnia. They migrated to the Velebit area, to parts of Lika and to Gorski Kotar in the 16th and 17th centuries. They arrived in Senj and its surrounding area in 1605 in search of pastures and fertile soil. Today they live mostly in the Bačka region of Serbia (a province of Vojvodina) and southern Hungary. One of the traditional Bunjevci activities, wool production (ranging from sheep shearing to wool processing), is presented. Also displayed are Bunjevci cultural items: cooperage and smithy equipment, costumes, pottery, musical instruments, looms, and other related items.
The Senj Intellectual Circle includes famous Croatian writers born in Senj in the 19th century: S. S. Kranjčević (1865–1908), M. Ogrizović (1877–1923) and P. Ritter Vitezović (1652–1713) - writer, historian and linguist. The writers’ busts are displayed, while images and documents (mainly facsimiles) reflect their lives and works.
Senj’s maritime life is illustrated though votive images of seamen, ship equipment, parts of ships, and hydro-archaeological items (amphorae) coming from the coast of Senj.
The museum holds natural history and geological items from Velebit. The oldest examples date back to prehistory.
The museum also houses a specialist library (Seniensia) with old and new archival materials, a smaller collection of paintings, a collection of photographs and postcards, a collection of weapons and military equipment, and a numismatic collection.
The museum, together with the Senj Museum Society, has published the scientific review, Senjski zbornik (Proceedings of Senj), since 1965.
Lukovo Local History Collection
The collection is located in a fisherman’s house in Lukovo, a village south of Senj. The collection comprises ethnographic and archaeological items collected by Branko Rogić (a local fisherman and chronicler, collector and founder of the collection) over many years. Most of the exhibits are items of everyday use (dishes, farming and fishing tools, clothes, and similar items), musical instruments, ship models, and different types of amphorae (from the local waters, dated from the 1st to 4th centuries AD).
Apart from the fisherman’s house, a tuna observation point (skala) has also been renovated.