With its grand neo-Renaissance façade presiding over Roosevelt Square in Zagreb’s Donji Grad (Lower Town), the Mimara Museum (Muzej Mimara) is impossible to miss, but the dramatic building is more than just a pretty face. This is the city’s biggest and most important art history museum, housing over 3,750 works, including paintings, sculptures and crafts, spanning over three millennia. The permanent exhibition is made up of the personal collections of Wiltrud and Ante Topić Mimara, an extraordinary assemblage of artifacts bequeathed to the city in 1987.
Elements of the collection come from all around the world, including Persian carpets, ancient Egyptian glassware, elaborate Renaissance altarpieces and archaeological finds from Greece, Rome and early-medieval Europe. Highlights include an enameled 13th-century crucifix, a series of ancient Far Eastern artworks and paintings by Dutch artists Rembrandt and Ruisdael, Spanish painters Velāzquez and Goya, and other famous names like Rubens, Van Dyck, Manet and Caravaggio.