„Gallerion“ is a gallery presenting a permanent exhibition about themes from the maritime and naval history – located in the coastal township of Novigrad/Cittanova in Croatian Istria. The part of the collection dedicated to the Austro-Hungarian Imperial and Royal Navy hold probably the second place worldwide, immediately after the Naval collection exhibited at the Military History Museum at Vienna, and our collections are still growing.
„Gallerion“ was founded by the designer and photographer Sergio Gobbo, who started to collect naval objects and photographs some 30 years ago, to finally open this museum in 2007 on this locality at Novigrad/Cittanova.
From his early childhood Sergio Gobbo was spending much of his time with fishermen and sailors at Isola, Pirano, Savudria, and on the island of Vis (Lissa) and other Adriatic islands, sailing together with his father or alone, and diving at every possible occasion. Because he was active for years as designer and photographer, promoting our Adriatic, he decided to dedicate his work to the research of life and history on sea and ashore. As it became clear to him that existing maritime museums along the coast were spending not enough time nor resources to research and show the common maritime history, partially ignoring or covering parts of it, he made a decision - together with his partners - to correct it by opening the first private maritime and naval collection under the name of „Gallerion“ in Istrian Novigrad /Cittanova. This exposition was officially opened in 2007 by His Excellency Dr Otto von Habsburg, who visited “„Gallerion“” few more times in private. In spite of being initially ignored, not supported and often boycotted by official state institutions, the collection became well known in Croatia and on the international level, that numerous foreign visitors from abroad are bearing witness. The collection is growing further, partially thanks to the people whose part of the common history was ignored until today.
In addition to the naval and maritime history of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, there are other themes “in work”, dedicated to the naval tradition of Greeks, Romans, Venice, and to the history of the Second World War and the Cold War on the Adriatic.
The most important partner of “„Gallerion“” of today is the Croatian Military Museum at Zagreb; in addition we are in a close cooperation with the Croatian Ministry for Culture, especially with their Department for underwater archaeology, with the Department for detecting and clearing explosive means of the Police Inspectorate at Pola, and with many museums and collections in Croatia, but also in Slovenia, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary and Italy. Our final goal is to establish an International Maritime Museum, dedicated to the Croatian civil and naval maritime history and tradition that was persistent for centuries, albeit for some time under foreign flags.
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