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The Križevci Municipal Museum is a complex museum institution active in the museum and gallery domain. Its activities include collecting, processing, presenting and publishing historical, cultural and artistic material as well as documents important for its operational context, i.e. the town of Križevci and the neighbouring area.
On the occasion of the 700th anniversary of the free royal town of Križevci, a native collection was put on display in 1952. Eventually it evolved into a museum and ten years later it was relocated to the building of the so-called Pauline Inn, which it still occupies.
The collection, i.e. the Museum, was aiming to present the public with the rich and valuable history of the town and the surrounding area. The idea had been born before: in 1934 the Society of Friends of the Antiquity in the town of Križevci was founded. Its main purpose was to collect items of historical and museum value to be displayed in the future Museum.
The first attempt to found a museum in Križevci dates from the end of the Second World War when the Ministry of Education (more precisely, its Department of Culture and the Arts) recommended the founding of a museum in March 1946. It was supposed to be located in the castle of the Kiepachs, a local squire family, and to include the complete castle inventory. A month later the working group of the National Committee issued a decision to found the museum but, unfortunately and for no apparent reason, the plan was not carried out. It was only in 1952 that the collector of antiques Dragutin Zajec received an order from the Town Council to start the founding of the museum collection. He diligently worked on it and donated a number of items himself. Even though he was not a trained specialist, he performed the duties of a museum curator for many years after the founding of the Museum, until the art historian professor Vladimir Srimšek became the first professional member of the Museum staff in 1968. He dedicated most of his working life to adding new items to the Archaeological and Ethnographic Collection, to starting the Gallery of Fine Arts, to compiling the Gallery holdings and to redecorating and revamping the Gallery and the exhibition spaces.
Today the rich holdings of the Gallery of Fine Arts illustrate the development of painting (both amateur and professional) in the Križevci area. Both the Museum and the Gallery of Fine Arts are placed in historical buildings that form the oldest layer of town buildings. The Museum is placed in an 18th-century building built next to the Pauline monastery as an inn for its visitors. The building is atypical for vernacular architecture of the Križevci area and is reminiscent of the oriental type of Balkan architecture: its façade is smooth and flat, its eaves are emphasised and it was built according to an irregular U-plan. An external staircase and an open wooden porch lead to the first-floor rooms. The building acquired its present shape at the end of the 18th century, which can be concluded from the inscription 1796 etched in the south portal. However, some parts of the building date from earlier periods and its oldest part is probably erected on the remnants of the walls that used to surround the monastery land next to the south bastion of the town walls.
The Museum and its collections moved in the building in 1961 and during the next few years the building was adapted and adjusted to its future purpose – exhibiting of Museum collections. The last adaptation took place in 2002, when the outer façade and the ground floor were revamped. In the same year the display of the Archaeological Collection was redesigned and new display cabinets were included in it. The permanent display in the five first-floor rooms is a brief overview of the cultural, church, trade, and traditional history of the town and the neighbouring area.
Next to the Museum, i.e. in its yard, there is an ethno-park with representative examples of traditional architecture of the area around Kalnik, such as a vine-dresser’s hut, a corn silos with a straw roof, a wooden house, a baker’s oven, a barn, a wine press, or a coach-house. The examples cited demonstrate the importance of wooden building material, although stone is also frequently used in the area around Kalnik.
The permanent display is placed on the ground floor and the first floor and it occupies seven halls altogether. On the ground floor there are the Archaeological Collection and the Arsenal with a new permanent display, designed in 2002. The first floor houses the displays of the Cultural and Historical Collection, the Ethnographic Collection, the Sacral Collection, and the Guild Collection, as well as a short overview of the social and cultural life in Križevci at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. The overview is placed in a special room and partially dedicated to people who played an important role in Croatian culture and history (such as Ivan Zakmardi Dijankovečki, Franjo Marković, Sidonija Rubido-Erdödy, Albert Štriga, Dragutin Novak, the Kiepachs, Nina Vavra) and who were born in the area or used to work there.
Temporary exhibitions are usually put on display in the building of the Gallery of Fine Arts. The permanent display of the Gallery can only be seen in summer, due to a large number of temporary exhibitions held there throughout the year.
The Gallery is in the town centre and in close proximity to the town park, which makes its atrium one of the nicest open spaces in town and, therefore, the most suitable site for all cultural events in summer.
In 2000 offices were placed on the ground floor of the building to be used by the Museum management.
The building of the Gallery of Fine Arts (the so-called Parliament Building) is one of the oldest buildings in Križevci. It used to be near the south town doors, at the beginning of the central street. Its style is that of the border-land Baroque with simple ornaments and a massive mansard roof. It acquired its present shape in 1984, when it was last altered to house the Gallery of Fine Arts and its exhibits.
The Križevci Municipal Museum has become one of the most important landmarks of the area: thanks to its permanent and temporary exhibitions and to numerous events that take place on its premises, it offers a visitor the chance to stroll through its rooms and see the rich heritage of this town of history, culture and the Statutes of Križevci.

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