During the Homeland War the Fortress area with Museum buildings was devastated and the collection was partially plundered. The Museum was reopened for the public in 1996, and its collection was displayed in the southern part of the Fortress in three refurbished buildings of the Belveder station. The permanent display consists of ethnographic, archaeological and (partly open air) cultural-historical and geological-palaeontological materials. The geological-palaeontological collection features geological specimens and fossils found in the surrounding area of Knin. The archaeological collection exhibits materials from the Knin area starting from prehistory, i.e. from the Mesolithic up to the late Middle Ages. Stone monuments dating from Antiquity, Middle and Late Middle Ages include architectural fragments (architraves, beams, column bases), altars, portraits of deities, stele, tegulae and so on.
The ethnographic display shows furniture, household accessories, objects made by traditional folk handicrafts (related to wool processing, pottery, basket-making and wood carving) and folk costumes from the area of Dalmatian Hinterland and Bukovica from the 19th and 20th centuries.
The display, planned for the third Belveder building will present the historical and cultural-historical materials from the origin of the town in the early Middle Ages till today. It will include a selection of materials from Cultural-Historical Department which hosts the objects from everyday life used in household: furniture, dishes, etc.; artistic craftsmen’s objects from the end of 19th and the beginning of 20th centuries; technical objects from the beginning and the first half of the 20th century (record player, radio, slide projector, camera and the like); old weapons; prints displaying Knin in 17th and 18th centuries, various maps from 18th and 19th centuries, old postcards that portray the urban development and shape of the town in the second half of 19th and the first half of 20th centuries. The collection also includes documentary photographs and other documentary materials (original documents) from the end of 19th and the beginning of 20th centuries testifying of the economic and cultural life of the town at that time.
In the recent years the buildings (three objects) on the Belveder station were refurbished housing the curators’ building, the church of St Barbara, restaurant, council hall and Loredan’s gate; and in 2015 the building 11 on the Fortress was refurbished to house the new display of the Homeland War “Operation Storm 1995”. The constructional repair of the walls of the Knin Fortress has been going on in parallel.
The Museum is in charge of the Fortress – the Knin historical ensemble, as well as of Podgrađe and the unexplored archaeological area of the Spas mountain where late antique and old Croatian settlement was discovered.
The Knin Museum currently has a staff of 17 members, one third are professional employees and the rest technical-administrative employees. The exhibitions take place throughout the year in the church of St Barbara, the patroness of artillery, and in the Knin Museum Gallery.
◊ Katarina Gugo, M.A., senior curator
◊ Zvonimir Jelić, curator
◊ Ivana Mikulić – Sarić, curator
◊ Zoja Radić, curator