Slovenski etnografski muzej

From the exhibition Between nature and culture

About museum


The Slovene Ethnographic Museum is a museum "about people, for people", a museum of cultural identities, a link between the past and the present, between traditional and modern culture, between our own and other cultures, between the natural environment and civilisation. It is a museum of dialogue, open, active and hospitable, dedicated to serving the public. It presents and reports on traditional culture as well as mass and pop culture in Slovenia and the diaspora, on non-European cultures, and on the material and intangible cultural heritage of both everyday and festive life.

History of the complex

A museum “about people, for people” with a longstanding tradition: in 2023 celebrating 100 years!
The Slovene Ethnographic Museum, SEM) is the oldest ethnographic institution in Slovenia, established 100 years ago, a national ethnographic museum that houses some of the most notable Slovene collections offering insights into traditional Slovene life and non-European collections. It is a modern and inclusive museum embedded in the local and global environments. Its wide variety of activities that communicate European and non-European heritage include exhibitions, cultural events, workshops for children, storytelling events and guided tours.

The complex of the SEM consists of two buildings - an administration and an exhibition building, a basement storage space for the museum collections, an outside museum platform and a park for different events. The storage area and outside were completed and urbanized in 2007. In 1997 the SEM moved to the first renovated building in the southern part of the former military barracks complex (constructed between 1886-1889 for the Habsburg army infantry) on Metelkova Street. This building has 1900m2 for administration, documentation, information and communication, research, audio-visual, publishing, conservation and restoration activities, plus a public reading room, a lecture room and a small exhibition area. In summer 2002 the construction and the renovation process for the exhibition building started, and was completed in 2004, followed in December 2004 by the official opening of the new museum under the slogan The Time Has Come. Since then, the museum has prepared numerous high-profile exhibitions and events every year.

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