The Museum of Contemporary History
The Museum of Contemporary History is a specialised historical museum founded in 1995 as one of the organisational parts of the Dubrovnik Museums. It is the successor of the former socialist revolution department of the Dubrovnik Museum founded in 1956, the founding of which was the starting point for the interest of the museum community in the period of recent Dubrovnik history.
The collections gather, study and present material from the period of time from World War I, from the labour movement between the two wars up to World War II, the anti-fascist struggle, and the post-war period. Historical events and processes treated in this way resulted in the permanent museum display of the department, which was housed, up to the Homeland War, in the Sponza Palace.
After the aggression of Serbia and Montenegro on the Dubrovnik area and the Republic of Croatia in 1991, and the ending of the Homeland War, the Museum of Contemporary History, with the support of the city of Dubrovnik, associated with Dubrovnik defenders and with associations that stemmed from the Homeland War considerably enriched its collections with material from the Homeland War, while the systematic study and presentation of this material gave rise to sixteen thematic exhibitions.
The museum material is kept in the Collection of Documents, the Collection of Materials for Memoirs, the Collection of Three Dimensional Objects and the Collection of Photographs and Negatives.
In Fort Imperial on Srđ hill, the exhibition Dubrovnik in the Homeland War 1991-1995 is on display. During the Homeland war, the fort was the first line of defence of Dubrovnik and housed the Command HQ of the 163rd Dubrovnik Brigade of the Croatian Army, becoming a symbol for the heroic defence of the city.
The exhibition was opened on Day of Victory and Homeland Gratitude Day, and the Day of Croatian Veterans, 2008, and was the first phase of the future permanent display of the Homeland War Museum in Dubrovnik.
It consists of four thematic units: the fall of the Dubrovnik Republic and the history of Fort Imperial; the Serbian-Montenegrin aggression in 1991; Victory Days – the liberation campaigns of the Croatian Army; the casualties among the population and to the civilian and heritage buildings in the Dubrovnik area.
The course of the Homeland War in the Dubrovnik area is shown, from the beginnings of the Serbian-Montenegrin aggression in 1991, the securing of the internationally acknowledged borders of the Republic of Croatia by the victorious Croatian Army, and the return of the refugee and exiled population to the areas that had been temporarily occupied, up to the ending of the war in 1995.
Original documents, art and documentary photographs from the Homeland War, armaments, mines and explosives, items of materiel, wartime flags of the units, authentic photographs and video material are on display.