Museum of Ancient Glass

The museum is one of the city's newest attractions and rightfully so. It's housed in the 19th century Cosmacendi Palace and has some outstanding views that overlook the Jazine harbour. The museum contains one of the premium collections of Roman glassware outside Italy, with a cornucopia of goblets, jars and vials retrieved from archaeological sites across Dalmatia. Highlights include the delicate vessels used by Roman ladies to store perfumes, skin creams and essential oils. Also look out for glass cups used to celebrate Mass, and dainty flasks in which holy water was stored. Take the opportunity to see the replica Roman glassware on sale as you'll no doubt enter one of the classiest souvenir-stops in the city.

ancient glass

The Museum of Ancient Glass is situated in the renewed Cosmacendi house and an added structure, annex in the courtyard of the existing building which consists of a basement, ground floor, first floor and attic with the surface of 1601,4 m2 (gross). Annex consists of a basement, ground floor and first floor with the surface of 972,8 m2 (gross). Part of the natural terrain is the belonging park. The lot has irregular form, it is situated close to the city walls near the main city entrance (Moro bastion from the 16th century).

Identity of the new museum is kept in the historical forming of the Cosmacendi house (1877). Three preserved fronts of the house were restored with historical and stylistic accuracy by the methods of restoration and conservation. The new part (annex to the Cosmacendi house) was built modernly.

Admittance and the main entrance to the museum are located in the north-western part of the old object, passing through the park, because previous main entrance had insurmountable architectural barriers for the disabled persons.

In the museum's basement there are men's and ladies' toilets for the visitors, toilets and rooms for the staff, workshop (for repairs and exhibition preparations), two depots for the archaeological material, study depot for the analysis of the material, room for technics and room with air condition system. Besides the mentioned, in the building's basement there are also two big barrel-vaulted levels from the period when the medieval city wall was built, which can also be used for the storage of the archaeological material and souvenirs.

In the building's basement in the new object there is a hall for occasional and visiting exhibitions, and a coffee shop with a storeroom and toilets for the staff and visitors. On the ground floor of the Cosmacendi house there is a lobby, info desk, an exceptionally well-supplied souvenir shop, wardrobe for visitors and a toilet for the disabled persons. The lobby of the previous main entrance will be used for presenting the history of the building from 1877 to the present day, with emphasis on the building phases of the museum.

The beginning of the permanent display is placed in the first hall of the eastern wing on the ground floor of the renewed building. In that hall the introductory theme is presented - the history of glassmaking, with three subthemes: raw materials, tools, furnaces and techniques of making and decorative techniques. In this hall there are the main ingredients of the glass material, an oil lamp showing glassblowers from Asseria (copy) and the tools for glassmaking - several mould types, pipes for blowing glass, glass-making shears, pincers, old glass-making instructions. Other showcases display ancient glass material illustrating different decorative and making techniques.

The last hall in the eastern wing presents a multi-functional room - for occasional exhibitions of the museum's holdings, for the visiting exhibitions and lectures. At the time when these activities will not be taking place, the «hall» will be used for regular showing of documentaries about the glass invention, making techniques and about the rare glass products from Croatia and worldwide.

Area for the pemanent display with the walking line oriented to the right is situated on the entire first floor (the old building and the annex). The first hall contains artifacts related to the trade and trade-routes such as selected glass artifacts; local glass products and relief stamps. The third theme - glass in cosmetics, pharmacy and medicine is represented in the next hall. The central theme in the biggest hall of the new annex is necropolis as a finding place of numerous complete glass items and a place of use of glass in the funerary ritual (glass urns, balsamaria, lids). Besides the reconstruction of several types of ancient burials, there are also several groups of glass grave goods as well as two Liburnian funerary monuments and six small funerary tituli. Small hall in the eastern wing of the Cosmacendi house contains glass jewellery such as glass rings, hairpins, glass beads, necklaces, bracelets and pendants. From this small hall a visitor enters a bigger one representing the theme glass in household and everyday use (glass bottles, jugs, funnels, ladles, ollae, small bowls, cups, plates, game pieces...). Glass miniatures are represented within the following theme. Permanent display ends with rarities.

All themes are supplied with general and separate legends in Croatian and English. Separate themes are additionally equipped with trilingual citations of ancient writers (glassmaking history, cosmetics, trade and glass in household) and photo-illustrations (glassmaking history, cosmetics, jewellery, household) whereas the big hall has big illuminated wall illustrations. 

Wall plasma TVs with DVD projections can be found at the info desk, in the lobby, in the theme of trade and trade routes, in the hall with glass in funerary ritual, in the theme of glass in household and the theme of rarities. Eight thematic units are prepared for the projection. Selection of the glass material from other Croatian sites that is from the Archaeological Museums in Split, Zagreb and Pula, then the Museum of Slavonia, Šibenik County Museum etc is represented virtually. In the multi-functional hall on the LCD projector there will be a documentary about the reconstruction of the ancient furnace and glass production in ancient way - experimental archaeology.

On the second floor of the museum (only in the palace) there is a workshop for producing souvenirs and a school of glassblowing. There is a separate entrance to the wardrobe and toilet for the staff working in the demo workshop. Next to the demo workshop there is a specialistic conservation-restoration workshop where more than 200 ancient glass objects have already been restored.

In the extension of the eastern wing of the renewed building's second floor there are toilets for the museum staff, copy room, small kitchen and three rooms for the museum professional personnel.

In the western wing of the old building there is an accounting office, secretary's office, directors's office and a meeting room. Library with a reading room is situated in the same wing of the building. The library will contain mainly specialistic issues.

Address: Poljana Zemaljskog odbora 1

Tel: +385 (0)23 363 833

Tel: +385 (0)23 363 830

Fax: +385 (0)23 363 834

Opening hours: 


MON - SUN: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm


MON - SAT: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Group visits can be arranged even outside normal opening hours, subject to prior notification.


- adults 30 kuna,

- group price 20 kuna (5+ persons),

- students 10 kuna