Amber Year in Novo mesto: three special exhibitions

date: 05.07.2017

In Novo mesto, the year 2017 is represented by amber, one of the treasures of our archaeological heritage. This heritage deserves a special place in our town’s identity, since it puts us on the world map of central Iron Age archaeological sites. Every year, archaeologists excavate new evidence of the important role Novo mesto had even in the prehistoric era. In those times, amber jewellery was a status symbol, which was available to only the wealthiest and most distinguished individuals through the Amber Road. The rich collections in the Museum of Dolenjska bear witness that our ancestors truly were important and respectable.

About amber

Amber is the fossilised resin of conifer trees, which has from prehistoric times represented a magical, protective and healing substance. The largest and most important deposits of amber are located in the Baltic area, from where thousands of years ago began their collection and transportation due south. The Amber Road is the name of the corridor which allowed for the transfer of this magical, orange-yellow substance to the buyers along the Adriatic Sea and beyond – the Mediterranean.

The prehistoric path travelled through Dolenjska and Novo mesto as well, which at the time represented one of the centres of Europe, and where an abundance of amber products has been preserved. The large amounts of products and the high quality of jewellery made from imported amber, which complemented homemade, masterfully shaped glassware in ancient graves of Novo mesto, confirm our findings on how important Novo mesto and the wider area truly was.

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Two sucsessful international confreneces contributeed to the recognizability and tourist development of the town

International conferences on amber and amber roads in Europe have been held in San Marino for several years now. In 2017, their permanent organizer, the C.I.V.I.A. Association (International Research Centre for Ancient Roads and Means of Communication between People) entrusted the Museum of Dolenjska and the Urban Municipality of Novo mesto with the professional archaeological conference and the Conference of Cities on the Amber Road, which is a great recognition for the archaeologists and organizers from Novo mesto who justified this trust, according to the excellent response from the international and domestic audience. Novo mesto is one of the 4,500 towns within the amber network where the information about Amber Year is spread, which contributes to the recognizability and tourist development of the town.

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Amber on display

Amber has myriad of shades and is stunning and delightful sight. In Novo mesto, you can visit three exhibitions on amber that include archaeological amber, the famous amber room from Sankt Peterburg and modern jewellery. The exhibitions in the Museum of Dolenjska are opened  to the end of September 2017.

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The archaeological exhibition Amber – Jewels of Baltic in Novo mesto presents the selection of archaeological amber materials, which have been preserved by various Slovenian institutions in charge of protecting our cultural heritage. The exhibits came to our Region on the Amber Road in the period from the Bronze Age to antiquity.

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The largest and most famous amber exhibit in the world is the Amber Room from Saint Petersburg. Skilfully and exquisitely decorated room indeed takes the breath away and is considered the eighth wonder of the world. The mastery of its designers, the colours of amber and the rich history and fate of this world-famous chamber is, in cooperation with the Tsarskoye Selo Museum of Saint Petersburg, presented on giant, almost life-size, screens in the Museum of Dolenjska.

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At the third exhibition the Association of Designers from Gdansk presents modern amber jewellery titled Amber and design.

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