Show menu

200 years

National Museum of Slovenia

The National Museum of Slovenia is the oldest museum institution in Slovenia. Its mission is to protect, evaluate, research, interpret, exhibit and present the national cultural heritage, and to interact with the public. The idea of founding a national museum goes way back in the past, with the first steps taken by baron Sigismund Zois von Edelstein and the key figures of the enlightenment movement. The beginning of the French administration and foundation of the Illyrian Provinces had somewhat postponed the far-reaching intention. The direct initiative, however, was given in 1821 by the participants of the famous Congress of Ljubljana, who pointed out that Carniola had no museum of its own. They had passed the proposal on to the provincial estates (Landstände), who made a decision on 15 October 1821 to establish a provincial museum. They issued an announcement emphasising that this cultural institution will collect all artefacts of the creativity of the nation, history of the region, national literature, man-made artefacts and the priceless reaches of nature. Already in the first decade, they received precious gifts – artworks and artefacts from different donors; among them were the antiques of mayor Hradeczky, the numismatic collection of Jože Repežič, the ethnographic collection of bishop Baraga and reverent Knoblehar, the Zois’ mineral collection, Hohenwart's sea-shell collection and other artefacts. The collection also expanded due to important and amazing archaeological discoveries – Vače, Ljubljansko barje (Ljubljana Marshes), Šmarjeta, Mokronog, Drnovo near Krško and many more. The Provincial Museum initially had its quarters in Pogačnik House in the Salendrova ulica (Salender Street) in Ljubljana; but already in October 1831, the Museum had its grand opening in the Lyceum building. There was a breakthrough for the Museum in 1882, when the Provincial Assembly decided to start construction works for a new museum building. On 14 July 1883, they laid a corner stone for the modern museum building.

Today, as we celebrate the 200th anniversary, we are looking at the past and shaping a vision of the future. It is the ambition of the Museum employees to connect our history with the present and the future, and to present it to a broader circle of enthusiasts by means of modern information technologies, and to follow our mission nobly and honourably. It is our duty to preserve the historic monuments for the next generations, and to continue genuine, respectful and direct dialogue with the public. Let the honourable jubilee be an opportunity for new directions, ideas, challenges and hope.

Exhibitions celebrating the 200th anniversary

The events commemorating the 200th anniversary of the first museum in Slovenia are being held under the honorary patronage of His Excellency Mr. Borut Pahor, President of the Republic of Slovenia.


Zavarovalnica Triglav, d.d.

Media sponsor