Kvarner newsletter / no 32

Museum of Crikvenica
A treasury of ice age fossils

The Museum of Crikvenica now hosts the attractive Lion Pit exhibition, named after the remnants of cave lions and numerous other fossils that were found in the nearby cave of Vrtara mala near Dramalj. The exhibition presents a series of fossil remnants of animals that became extinct during the Ice Age under the guidance of museum experts, offering visitors a chance to learn more about this interesting palaeontological topic.

If you are somewhere on Kvarner and are interested in prehistory, especially the period at the end of the ice age, do not miss the chance to visit Crikvenica. Until the 3rd of May 2011, the Museum of Crikvenica will host the exhibition entitled The Lion Pit. The exhibits displayed on this exhibition were found in the cave of Vrtara mala near the neighbouring place of Dramalj. This cave is a treasury of paleontological items that still need to be explored in more detail. However, the exhibits shown at the exhibition are enough to make the cave of Vrtara mala one of the most valuable paleontological sites in Croatia.

Visitors to the museum will have the chance to learn more about our prehistory and the dynamic life during the Late Pleistocene, that is, at the end of the long ice age period, when present humans emerged.

The cave of Vrtara mala is ca. thirty metres deep and is rather difficult to explore. However,  since it is the site where many fossil remnants of animals that became extinct long time ago were found, and also the habitat characteried by a great biodiversity of underground organisms (such as some rare species of cave shrimps and prawns), this cave was registered among Croatian nature monuments and has been given preliminary protection. The cave has been researched on several occasions, and the last excavation, which took place in 2007, revealed a large number of fossil remnants of cave lions, wolf and cave bear (ursus) bones, vertebrae and bones of bovine cattle (bison), deer, birds, small mammals, horses, and even a part of a rhino bone. All the items were carefully explored, prepared and stored, and are now displayed in the Museum of Crikvenica.

Opening times of the exhibition are every day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 6 to 10 p.m. until the 15th of September, and from the 16th of September until the 3rd of May 2011 from Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Apart from these fossils, the Museum of Crikvenica hosts another interesting display until mid-October: the exhibition entitled "Shade of Fame", which includes pictures, texts and moving pictures about cars, motorcycles and motorsport in Crikvenica. It is a very dynamic story about attractive races of various types of vehicles that took place in Crikvenica as early as 1930s. The first of these races are considered as the beginning of automotive tourism on the Croatian Adriatic, which reached its heyday with speedway races that took place from 1952 to 1977 in Crikvenica.

Opening times of the exhibition are every day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 6 to 10 p.m. until the 15th of September, and from the 16th of September until the 15th of October from Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m