The gateway to Istrian history
Umag, a quaint coastal town welcoming all visitors traveling from western Europe to Istria, is the gateway to this heart-shaped peninsula. With only 13,000 inhabitants, the town boasts 45km of pure Adriatic coastline and a rich history dating back to the late 13th century. Visitors have the opportunity to learn about the city’s past by visiting the Museum of Umag.
Located at the very tip of the old-town peninsula, the medieval tower, known as the “Bishop’s Tower”, is home to the city museum. Dating back to the early 14th century, the tower was used as a fortress for defending the town from the sea and is thought to be the oldest structure still standing in Umag today. It was not until 1976 that the Museum of Umag opened, with only a small collection of stone monuments and the occasional art exhibit. Twenty years later, the private archaeological collection Cigui-Fachin was purchased, headed by archaeologist Narcisa Bolšec Ferri. It was under her leadership, and the new motto “Lux in tenebris” (light in darkness), that the museum finally gained momentum, undertaking more intense research activities and exhibitions. The new collection, in combination with the original “lapida” collection, together formed the independent institution, Museum of Umag.
Today, this well-curated museum regularly performs archaeological and historical-artistic research, organizes art exhibits, lectures and workshops as well as hosts numerous historical and archaeological exhibits. The first floor of the Bishop’s Tower is dedicated to fine-arts and historical or archeological exhibitions while the permanent museum can be found on the second floor including ancient gravestone epigraphs as well as the coat of arms of the Venetian leaders and famous Umag family!