In 2021, the second year of the pandemic, Croatian museums logged 2.5 million visits, or 74 percent up from 2020. However, this is still 52 percent down from 2019, the last year before the pandemic, state agency Hina said on Wednesday, citing a survey by the Museum Documentation Center, a state-run agency.
The survey was conducted in January, and covered 141 out of Croatia’s 164 state-run and private-owned museums. While many European museums were closed last year due to Covid, this was not the case in Croatia, where “the number of visitors was also a result of a revived tourism last summer,” Hina explained.
Almost 25 percent of all museum visits last year were recorded at the country’s three usually most popular museums, all of them located in cities along the Adriatic coast. The Archaeological Museum of Istria in Pula saw 313,180 visitors, or 91 percent up from 2020 but still 46 percent down compared to 2019.
The City Museum of Split attracted 135,891 visitors, or 228 percent up from 2020 but 66 percent down from 2019. Dubrovnik Museums had 111,411 visitors in 2021, up 166 percent from 2020 – but 63 percent down from 2019.
Last year, as in 2019, foreign tourists accounted for almost 25 percent of all museum visits.
Zagreb museums log sharpest fall in visitors due to earthquake, pandemic
The largest drop in visits was registered at museums in the capital Zagreb, which makes sense since they have been largely closed the March 2020 earthquake which hit the city and caused extensive damaged in the city’s centre, where most premier museums are located.
The Mimara art museum, the Natural History Museum, the Strossmayer Gallery, and the Museum of School had no visitors at all in 2021. The Croatian History Museum and the Archaeological Museum – which also closed – had between 1,000 and 1,500 visitors at programs held at other locations. The Museum of Arts and Crafts logged 15,182 visitors in 2021, which is 81 percent down from 2019.
The Klovicevi Dvori Gallery – usually the most visited cultural institution in the city – had 58,056 visitors in 2021, or 84 percent down from 2019.