The exhibition is open from 6. april 2015 to 6. april 2016
The exhibition features numerous objects associated with craft, trade, industry, urbanization, traffic, societies and social life, customs, warfare and depictions of the town from the first traces of human activity to the present day. Presented are public and personal events, happy and sorrowful times, moments of success and times of trouble for the town, the whole diversity of life in Novo mesto through the millennia.
The exhibition consists of 6 thematic parts.
The Town before Novo mesto
The present town area has been populated for more than four millennia. The main areas of settlement are Marof (1st millennium BC), Kapiteljski hrib (from the 10th century BC to at least 4th century AD), and the lower part of the meander of the river Krka, where the medieval town developed. As indicated by numerous artefacts, among which situlae are the most prominent, the settlement reached its peak in the middle of the 1st millennium BC.
The Foundation of the Town
On 7th April 1365, Duke Rudolf IV of Habsburg issued a document with which he founded the town and enabled its survival and development by giving it many privileges. While the town was named Rudolfswert after him, people also called it Novo mesto (“new town”) from the very beginning. The picture of its founder became the symbol of the town and can still be seen today in seals, signet rings and the town’s coat of arms.
Life in the Town
The core of the exhibition are people from all time periods; people of any age, gender, profession, or social class.
Craft and trade were the main economic activities until the mid-20th century, when industry developed and the town expanded beyond the medieval defensive walls. Craft and industrial products, tools, as well as depictions of craftsmen, tradesmen and commercial shops shed light on economic activities.
The Town’s Ordeal
The constant Ottoman raids in the 16th and 17th centuries caused a shift of trade routes, which resulted in an economic weakening of the town. In addition, the town suffered from recurrent fires and epidemics of infectious diseases. In the 20th century, Novo mesto was affected by two world wars and the Slovenian independence war. In those times of trouble the town suffered considerable human casualties and many things were destroyed and lost forever, as indicated by numerous photographs and objects.
Images of the Town
Artists have created images of the town through time, in different times of the year, in various techniques and moods. Their works mirror life in the town in the time of their creation.
The exhibition was created by all the curators of the Museum of Dolenjska: Marjeta Bregar, Jasna Kocuvan, Borut Križ, Ivica Križ, Jožef Matijevič, Majda Pungerčar, Matej Rifelj, and Petra Stipančić.
Design by Maja Rudolf Markovič.