Current Size: 100%
Kretinga museum was opened on the 12th of July in 1935. It was established by the pedagogue Juozas Žilvitis, who donated all his collections to the museum. During the war the museum was closed, but in 1945 it was reopened by the engineer Ignas Jablonskis. From 1977 to 1991 the museum functioned in the premise of monks Franciscans and later it was moved to the palace of Count Tiškevičius.
The main collections were built up in 1956-1975 with the help of the historian Juozas Mickevičius. At present in its vaults the museum has 63893 exhibits. They are divided into archaeological, numismatic, ethnographic, textile, historic living conditions, iconographic, document collections, printed matters, fine and applied arts and collections phaleristics and small memorial architecture.
The museum holds a large collection of archaeologic findings which tell us about the prehistoric times, treasures of silver coins of the XV-XIII century, the tools of farmers and handicraftsmen belonging to the XVIII-XX centuries, inventory, household, articles and furniture, the collection of Shrovetide masks. Especially decorative are tools for spinning, towel holders, chests and dressers, textile articles. Exceptionally unique items are the wedding registration book of Salantai church belonging to the XVII century, the letter written in 1761 by Duke M. J. Massalski to Kretinga Magistracy, the baptizing registration book of Kalnalis Curch belonging to the XVIII-XIX centuries, V. Mongirdas’ letters, written for his wife in 1941 in Reshoty Concentration Camp. The collection of printing materials contains many samples of Lithuanian press, issued during the years of press prohibition (1864-1904).
The best group of exhibits is the collection of iconography, which contains the photographs and albums of the Tiškevičiai family, the collection of post-cards belonging to the First World WAR, photographs and cards with the views of the old Kretinga. The most valuable collection is that of the old folk sculptures, collected from devastated shrines and the pictures of the Path of Christ’s Torture, painted on wooden boards and brought from Kretinga estate in the XVII century, the picture by Valentine de Boulogne “For Evangelists” and “Madona”, painted by an unknown painter.
The exhibitions of palace culture, folk art, cross-making craft, archaeology and history are held in the palace of Tiškevičius. The museum is famous for its Winter garden where visitors are fascinated by the uniqueness of plants from exotic countries. In the park the alleys of chestnuts and lime remind us of the great history of the family. Tourists can also find delight in walking along the paths of the park round the ponds, sitting on the Stone of Love. The pride of the town is the Astronomic Calendar with the Sundial (artist Rita Gorodeckienė).
The museum keeps within the law: everything is solid and compact, attractive, everything is for a visitor. A well organized service system is created in favour of visitors, starting from the rooms of display and leading to pleasant rest. Expositions, variety of services provided attract visitors to the museum. About 80 thousand of them come to Kretinga every year. The priorities of the museum have become scientific-investigative, cultural-educational activities, spread of tourism information. Since 2002 the museum has obtained the functions of tourism development. The museum organizes camps of creativity for folk artists, the works of which decorate the town, mark historical places of the region.