Welcome to the Natural History Museum in Rijeka. The Museum's activities include collecting, stuffing and conservation of the objects of natural science from the Primorsko-goranska county (encompassing the Kvarner bay, Istria and Gorski kotar). Our permanent display through original specimens informs you about the natural heritage, the history of research, as well as of the current status and preservation of nature in the Rijeka region. Guided tours of the Museum are available upon request. We house 90 000 specimens. In our storerooms there are specimens of rare and protected animals. Our curators will gladly share with you the information about their areas of expertise. The Museum employs 5 experts: four biologists and a geologist. You can learn more on the following pages.
We hope this visit to be enjoyable as well as educational. We are looking forward to seeing you in our Museum in Rijeka.

Director of the Natural History Museum Rijeka
Milvana Arko-Pijevac

The Natural History Museum in Rijeka, the first regional museum in the region, was founded to support the 19th century developments in natural sciences, great scientific interest in the Rijeka aquatorium research, and to build on the reputation of the scientists that worked in the area, as well as numerous privately owned natural history collections. The founding date of the Natural History Museum is considered to be May 16, 1876 when dr. Josef Roman Lorenz presented the Mayor of Rijeka with a detailed design of the Natural History Museum in Rijeka.
The plan of the Natural History Museum in Rijeka was developed according to the principles of the Naturhistorisches Museum in Vienna, and was, at the time, one of the most modern in Europe. The Natural History Museum was established in 1945 at the proposal of Mario Rossi, an amateur natural scientist. The Museum was opened to the public on May 1, 1946 in the building that has for generations been owned by count Negroni's family. The building still houses the Museum. On the same date a small aquarium was also opened to public, and a year later, on May 1, 1947, a small zoo as well. Since 1945 the objects of natural science were being collected. Mario Rossi managed to place the collections from the Hungarian Biological Fishing Station, from the dissolved Museo Civico and the City Museum in Sušak in the Museum for safekeeping. Up until the late 1961 Museum's main activities revolved around aquarium and zoo maintenance.
In late 1961 the People's Committee of the Stari grad municipality brought a Resolution to establish a Natural History Museum, which also, based on the Museums' Act, sets out the core tasks of the Museum. As a result the zoo was dissolved, and the amateur work was replaced by professional museological activities. The Museum became a regional museum, and in 1963 the field research began.
In 1964 the Museum and the Fishing station in Rijeka were integrated into one institution. By 1976 the Museum participated in three scientific research projects. As a result 27 scientific papers were published, and new specimens added to the collections. In the period 1977 - 1992 fieldwork was reduced to individual trips, while the work on remodeling the building intensified. In 1978 preliminary design for adding a wing to the Museum building was made. In the period 1984 - 1991 the fieldwork depended on private initiative of the curators; the priority was given to buying up object of natural history.
In 1992 begins the systematic geological and paleontological research and collecting of fossil fauna of the island of Krk, research of the Rijeka bay, and since 1993, in collaboration with the Ruðer Boškoviæ Marine Research Center, the research of the islands of Prviæ, Goli and Grgur. In 1996 on the occasion of a 120th anniversary of the establishment and a 50th anniversary of public activity a Scientific Symposium was organized. One hundred and fifty scientists from Croatia and Slovenia attended the Symposium. That same year the Museum began work on Preserving the Adriatic Biodiversity Project. In the following years the paleontological research in the Volareva cave near Rijeka an in the Biserujka cave on the island of Krk was conducted. It resulted in new cave bear finds in the Rijeka region. From 1998 on, the systematic paleontological research of the island of Krk intensified. That same year the Museum was approved a project on preparing and printing the Atlas of Fossil Macrofauna of the island of Krk. From 1999 on, the systematic research of marine caves in the Vinodol channel continues, and in 2001 the research of the east coast of the island of Cres and the Kostrena Municipality aquatorium begins with the aim of establishing protected areas.
In all these years since the founding of the Museum the collections have been supplemented with new specimens. Simultaneously, a lot of work has been put into the popularization of natural science. The newly acquired knowledge has been presented by the experts employed in the Museum through scientific papers, lectures and exhibitions. The books in the research library are entered in the UNIMAR/SIS computer program. The library holds 4260 titles. The Museum houses 24 collections with about 90 000 exhibits, which have been entered in ACCESS computer program. Since 1998 the permanent display has gradually been remodeled. New museum technology has been introduced. Parts of the Sharks and rays permanent display were modernized: the scenography and multimedia presentations (a CD-ROM with photographs, drawings and video sequences) were introduced. New permanent exhibition The Geological history of the Adriatic was put up displaying genesis and development of the Adriatic sea basin. On the Museum's ground floor The Aquarium - a multimedia center permanent exhibition was displayed. Scenography is introduced. A movie clip on the marine world and ambience music contribute to the underwater world atmosphere. The visitors can learn about Adriatic flora and fauna from an interactive CD-ROM containing basic information on oceanographic characteristics of the Adriatic, 350 photographs of flora and fauna and short descriptions of biology and ecology of the species. A workshop-playroom where children can play educational games containing information on natural sciences is included in the Aquarium display.
In the museum shop you can buy promotional material and books in Museum's edition.


Natural History Museum Rijeka

Lorenzov prolaz 1
51000 Rijeka


Tel. + 385 51 553 669
       + 385 51 553 672
Fax. + 385 51 553 669