The Cerkno museum

The caretaker of the entire historical, ethnological, and cultural heritage in the Cerkno region


The Cerkno museum was established in 1978 as the National Liberation (NOB) Department of the Idrija Municipal Museum, but through the years it has grown into a general museum of local history. Since its foundation the Cerkno museum has collected documentary and tangible materials, taken care of preserving and presenting the Franja Partisan Hospital, developed cooperation with schools, encouraged research, organized permanent and temporary exhibitions, and got France Bevk’s homestead in the village of Zakojca into shape for visitors. It also dedicates itself to guided tours for visitors.

Source: Kavčič, Janez. 2003. Cerkno region through Centuries (Slov. Cerkljanska skozi stoletja.)

Today, the museum is systematically engaged in collecting, preserving, protecting, studying, and exhibiting the entire historical, ethnological, and cultural heritage of the Cerkno region.

At the museum you can get information on the Franja Partisan Hospital and France Bevk’s homestead. Aside from the temporary exhibitions, which are put together by the museum according to its yearly work program, you can also see two permanent exhibitions: The Cerkno Region through the Centuries and Pust is to Blame! A Story about the Laufarji from Cerkno.

The permanent exhibition The Cerkno Region through the Centuries (with the exception of archaeological periods) is a complete presentation of historical development in the Cerkno region. Although it was already inhabited in prehistoric times, the Cerkno region entered “true” history in the second half of the 11th century, when individual places were first mentioned in written records. The exhibition follows this development through various types of states and nations that this area belonged to until the end of the 20th century. Photographs, documents, and objects present selected segments from the administrative, economic, and cultural life of the area.

Since the 50th anniversary of the revival of the Laufarija carnival custom in Cerkno in 2006 a permanent exhibition called Pust is to Blame! – A Story about the Cerkno Laufarija has been on display at the Cerkno museum.

The “Laufarji” of Cerkno are among the most well-known carnival characters in Slovenia. The most distinct particularities of these figures are their wooden masks, known as “larfe”. These are cut from linden wood and carved into forms whose strong resemblance to humans cannot be found elsewhere in Slovenia. On the basis of collected documentary and photographic materials the museum reconstructed the clothing and requisites for all 25 figures that today form part of the Laufar family. The history of the Cerkno Laufarija and the event itself are presented in photos and accompanying texts.

More info at: Permanent exhibition at the Cerkno museum