Which Croatian Museums Recorded Most Visitors in 2019?

Daniela Rogulj

February 28,  2020 – The Museum Documentation Center (MDC) revealed that Croatian museums recorded more than 5.2 million visitors last year, with the most visiting the Archaeological Museum of Istria (575,294 visitors).

Glas Istre reports that a survey conducted was conducted by the MDC from 160 museums from the Register of Public and Private Museums.

According to the results, out of 5,235,765 visitors, 29.6 percent visited state museums, and 70.4 percent visited other museums, a total of 211,116 fewer than in 2018.

After the Archaeological Museum of Istria, the most visited museum was the Museum of the City of Split with 389,814 visitors, which is 66,196 more than a year earlier, while the Klovićevi Dvori Gallery was the third most popular with 353,262 visitors, thanks mainly to the events in the Upper Town where it is housed.

They are followed by the Dubrovnik Museums in fourth place with 234,457 visitors (an increase of 63,024) and the Museums of Hrvatsko Zagorje (265,706) in fifth place, with an increase of 31,404 visitors.

According to the analysis of the results, signed by MDC Director Maja Kocijan, among the most visited are traditionally museums with record visitor numbers brought by the most famous ancient monuments in Croatia.

Nine museums recorded more than one hundred thousand visitors, including the Nikola Tesla Technical Museum (194,850), the Zadar Archaeological Museum (121,418), the Museum of Broken Relationships (111,798), and the Mimara Museum (101,671).

By category, the largest increase was recorded in visits to permanent establishments, which increased by 200,000 from 2018, which was contributed by the increase of foreign tourists (160,000).

The biggest drop was recorded in occasional exhibitions from 1,193,435 to 752,002 visitors, but Kocijan points out that she is not worried because last year’s jump was a consequence of the 400,000 visitors listed by the museum in the squares of several cities.

“What is worrying is the continuing decline in educational programs that, from the 264,739 users registered in 2016, have dropped by 51.5 percent in just three years, while the slight decline also continues for the number of children and young people in museums,” she added.

Preschool ages dropped from 56,366 in 2018 to 41,538 children last year, the number of elementary school visits went up slightly, by 4,000 (to 540,000), and the number of high school students dropped by 25,000 in the last two years, to 120,836 of them last year.

The number of foreign tourist visits increased by almost 200,000, but as some museums still do not keep records of tourist visits, including the Dubrovnik Museums, Croatian Museum of Tourism, Apoxyomenos Museum, the recorded number of 1,228,216 tourists does not correspond to the real numbers. 

Museum Night and International Museum Day numbers were down in 2019 – Museum Night dropped from 216,000 in 2018 to 169,314 last year, and International Museum Day dropped from 16,771 to 15,940 in 2019.

“Visitor statistics are a mirror of our attitude towards those we work for, but at the same time, on the one hand, a very accurate basis for reflecting on the priorities of institutions, and on the other, a solid basis for talking to the founders,” she concluded.

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