Museum of Krapina Neanderthals, Krapina
Muzeji hrvatskog Zagorja
The Museum of Krapina Neanderthals is located next to the site itself, between the Hušnjakovo and Josipovac hills, and occupies an area of 1,200 sqm. It was built from a concrete structure in the shape of a cave, and it is connected to the site itself by a hiking trail. The entire area is conceived as a Krapina Neanderthal Park consisting of a museum, a thermal spa and accompanying facilities located next to the site itself. The floor surface of the museum is made of a stone carpet made of quartz sand mixed with epoxy resins, the walls are made of raw and coloured concrete, all in accordance with the contents of the museum and for the purpose of presenting it as faithfully as possible.
The building has two floors; the entrance part consists of glass surfaces on which scenes from the life of Neanderthals are shown. The ground floor and first floor are connected by a spiral ramp covered with earth; it shows the spiral of time from the creation of the world to the appearance of the Neanderthals. On the first floor there is a cave reflecting the shape of the existing cave on the site. In this museum cave, the life of 17 Neanderthal families is shown, and the dolls that faithfully depict their appearance are the work of Elisabeth Daynes, a famous French sculptor whose specialty is the hyper-realistic reconstruction of hominids from preserved fossils. Enriched with a multitude of multimedia content, 3D projections, music, special lighting, diverse visual and sound effects and many other technological achievements, this museum is one of the most modern in Europe and among the most sophisticated and modern of its kind in the world. The construction of the museum began in 1999 on the hundredth anniversary of the discovery of the Krapina prehistoric man's site, and on February 28, 2010, the museum was officially opened. The author of the project is the architect Željko Kovačić, and the author of the overall concept is the museum counsellor of the Croatian Museum of Natural History, Jakov Radovčić.