The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.
Saint Augustine

Marton Museum

Walk over the short wooden bridge that spans the narrow Gradna River running along the main street in front of Trg Kralja Tomislava Square, continue pass the pastel yellow St. Anastasia’s Church then turn right onto Jurjevski and you’ll find a gem of a museum. The Marton Museum, at Jurjevska 7 in Samobor, Croatia, has a fantastic collection of 18th and 19th century glass, furniture, metals, and paintings.

The museum was the first private museum in Croatia when it opened in 2002 to house an exhibition of 700 pieces of Veljko Marton’s vast collection. It was an immediate success despite its location in Samobor, a small 13th century town about 21 kilometers (about 12 miles) south of Zagreb and better known at the time to hunters, anglers, and hikers. In the short time the museum has been opened, it has grown in popularity.

What began as a hobby for Veljko Marton, a former professional tennis player, grew into a passion as he traveled throughout Europe and the world while pursuing his sports career. As a youth, he was drawn to the world of art and frequently visited exhibitions and museums at home and abroad.

Today, Marton is a world class collector committed to encouraging other owners of valuable collections to follow his path by preserving Croatia’s cultural heritage and displaying them for public viewing. His displays include a rich collection of glass, ceramics, paintings, sculptures, metal and timepieces from throughout Europe.

The Marton Museum is housed in a 19th century manor and is rapidly growing in international significance. Marton has been invited to exhibit some of his masterpieces in Paris, London and other European venues. In an effort to demonstrate that Croatia belongs to the Central European cultural circles, his collection also includes numerous works related to Croatia and the town of Samobor.

 The collection includes about 100 furniture pieces mostly from Croatia. Chairs of many varieties and forms can be found throughout the two story museum. I particularly like those pieces with clean, graceful shapes from the Biedermeier period.

 The museum displays about 300 glass items, one of the most important areas of the collection in both quantity and quality. Most of the items were created by Czech, Austrian, Russian and French craftsmen along with several pieces from Croatian workshops.

The Biedermeier influence is also present in the forthrightness of the 80 portraits and landscapes on display. The collection includes several timepieces from Switzerland, France, Germany and other European watch making centers. Included in his metal collection are many candlesticks from Vienna, Paris and Venice, saltshakers, trays, jugs, and sugar bowls.

In addition to his duties as Director of the Marton Museum, Marton is also the publisher of the upscale lifestyle magazine, Smart. As he purses his dual passions as a collector and publisher, he is constantly in search of new additions for his museum

If you go

Although visitors are free to tour the museum on their own, I would highly recommend a guided tour to ensure that you see the most prized pieces and learn the finer details of why they were selected by Marton. The tour takes about an hour.

The museum has limited hours and is open from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM on Saturdays and Sundays. The cost for adult admission for a guided tour is 20 Croatian Kuna (about US$3.50). Unguided tours, senior citizens, students and children, and group guided tours are 15 Kuna (about US$2.50).

Go to the Marton Museum website for additional information.
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