The Maritime and Historical Museum is located in one of the most beautiful buildings from the nineteenth century in Rijeka. This building used to be a palace which was designed and built as the residence of governors. The relevant construction began in 1892 under the rule of the Governor Lajos Batthyany on the famous Hungarian architect Alajos Hauszmann's design. Upon its completion a former palace built upon the establishment of the Governorate in Rijeka in 1779, situated in today's Jadranski Trg was demolished. The palace harbouring nowadays the museum concerned was the seat of the Governorate until the collapse of the Monarchy in 1918.
The Museum subject matter of this review was founded in 1961. It's divided into categories and contains maritime, cultural and historical, etnographic and archaeological departments with pre-historical, Greek, Roman, madieval and numismatic collections.
Some of the original pieces from the Governor's palace have been preserved and are displayed in the salons, including furniture and objects belonging to periods going from Renaissance to Historicism, as well as a collection of portraits of the most prominent citizens of Rijeka. Among those rooms there is the White Salon showing the luxurious interiors of the 19th century. The ceiling of this outbuilding was decorated with gilded stuccatura by the sculptor Antal Szabo and the light fittings are made of murano glass. Really significant in this room are the white marble fireplace and the large mirror above it. The furniture, Louis XV style, was deisgned by the same Hungarian architect to whom the plans for the Palace were entrusted. Unfortunately this salon was heavily damaged by the bombardment of Dannunzio's forces in 1920 but happily enough it could be restaured to its original state.
Furthermore, in the living room one can observe a clear example of Biedemeier style. In pursuance of it the furniture had to be arranged according to the owner's whishes and needs without being lined up alongside the wall. Most of the living room furniture was usually located at the corner of the room. There was always a mirror and whenever possible a piano and a glass cabinet. The most characteristic part of that furniture was the secretaire, which consisted of a central niche and mirrors, drawers and secret compartments.
In the rest of the museum a great variety of objects are exhibited, divided, as already stated, into categories. There is a section devoted to ald weapons, mostly guns and rifles. And for the ones fascinated by aquatic forms of transport, the History of Maritime Department consists of historical reconstructions of ships, ship equipment, nautical instruments, maps pictures and prints. Besides, in the archaeological section some pottery and ceramic items dating back to the third century before Christ as well Antiquity coins are exhibited. In the last room there are interesting paintings by famous artists such as Palma Giovane and Leandro Bassano, as well as other nice elements such as a murano glass bowl.
The Museum is therefore worth visiting and due to the manifold interesting objects and masterpieces kept in it it's advisable to stay there for instance a whole morning in order to take as much profit as possible from the observation of the different objects displayed in the different departments.
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