Archaeological research conducted at the Plećašove štale site in 1995 and 1996 led to a sensational discovery of the remains of a Roman temple – the Augusteum – and 17 marble statues, both outsized and in natural height. These finds inspired the idea of presenting this unique archaeological site in an integral fashion, including both architectural remains and other specimens of the ample archaeological materials.
In the course of history, the valley of the Neretva was always a natural route from the Adriatic Sea to the interior. Along this route, in antiquity, the interior of the province of Dalmatia was connected with the coast and the rest of the Mediterranean.
The Neretva valley is mentioned in works of ancient writers as early as the 4th century BC. Most important of them for Narona are Pseudo Scylax and Theopompus, who mention the emporium, or market town that developed to exchange goods between the Mediterranean and the interior. The emporium was still vital in Roman times, and here the city of Narona developed, one of the most important cities of Antiquity on the eastern coast of the Adriatic. It was girt with city walls, which dropped from the tip of the hill to the bank of the Naron River, and covered an area of about 25 hectares, and can thus be assumed to have been home to a large population.
The first contacts with Rome are related to the Roman military inroads into the eastern Adriatic coast, or the First Illyrian War, 229 BC. At that time Narona was a stronghold of the Roman army in its wars against the Illyrian tribe of the Delmats. Roman generals Figulus, Isauricus, Vatinius and Sulpicius set off from here on some of the most important campaigns against the Delmats. Narona was raised to the rank of Roman colony. It is not clear whether this was during the time of Caesar or that of August (27 BC – AD 14). At this time Roman influences, institutions, law and customs, and also religion and the imperial cult made their way into Narona.
The remains of monumental architecture, inscriptions, mosaic floors, urban stratigraphy and many other discoveries indicate that this was a city of great importance. In Late Antiquity, Narona was also the seat of a diocese, and this is shown by sources which mention the Narona bishop participating in the church synods in Salona in 530 and 533. At the time, Narona was the point of origin for the diffusion of Christianity in the Dalmatian provincial hinterland. It was here that the characteristic Narona-type longitudinal basilica developed.
Life in Narona ceased, as it did in the rest of the province of Dalmatia, in the 7th century, and there was no systematic life lived here until the 18th century, when the current village of Vid developed on the remains of ancient Narona.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Austrian archaeologists started excavations here. After the Second World War, Narona began to be studied by experts from the Archaeological Museum in Split, Ivan Marović, Frane Buškariol and Nenad Cambi. Cambi started research into the city and the ancient forum in the 1970s, and research in this area was continued in 1995.
The Narona Archaeological Museum was constructed at the site of the ancient temple dedicated to Augustus, discovered in 1995 and 1996 during research conducted by the Archaeological Museum in Split under the guidance of Prof. Emilio Marin, Ph.D. At this time, the temple and its vestibule, the forum and outsize statues were found which, after restoration, are presented in the Narona Archaeological Museum.
After these great discoveries the idea of building a museum in Vid was addressed. In 2001 a competition was held, inviting plans for the design of the museum, which attracted 38 entries. The most acceptable was judged to be that of the architect Goran Rako. In 2004 Minister of Culture Božo Biškupić laid the foundation stone of the future museum, and construction works began. In December 2006, the construction was completed, after which the permanent display was installed, as designed by curators of the Archaeological Museum in Split.
All works on the display were completed by May 2007. And the Narona Archaeological Museum was officially opened on May 18, 2007, International Museum Day.
Narona Archaeological Museum
The museum was built on the remains of the Antique town of Narona, today’s village of Vid, four kilometres north-west of the centre of Metković.
The cornerstone of the future museum was laid on 19 July 2004. The Narona Archaeological Museum was established by a directive passed by Croatia's Government in 2005 and, after exceptionally demanding construction works, it was formally inaugurated on 18 May 2007 as the first in situ museum in Croatia. Such an approach to the presentation of an archaeological site has enriched Croatia's museum scene and has few peers at the European or even global level. Thus far, the Museum has received three awards, including the Vladimir Nazor Award conferred to architect Goran Rako for the Museum's design, the Cemex Award conferred to the contractor MGA of Metković for its construction efforts, and the Croatian Tourism Board's Blue Flower Award conferred to the Narona Archaeological Museum for its special contribution to enriching Croatia's tourism product.
Individual 40,00 kn
Pupils, students, senior citizens 20,00 kn. Members of ICOM, HMD and similar associations: free admission