Oriental weapons from the Arms and Armoury Collection of the Croatian History Museum in Zagreb
During the 17th, 18th and 19th century the territory of today’s southern and south-eastern Croatia was the borderland of three great States: the Habsburg Monarchy, the Ottoman Empire and the Venetian Republic. In that borderland – known as the Military Border / Militärgrenze, Craina - three completely different civilisations intertwined and permeated. The mixture of those completely different historical, economical, cultural, religious, political and other backgrounds and factors created new specific and interesting forms of coexistence, customs, behaviour and ethics of the people living there. At the same time those forms were then projected to the Eastern and Western Europe, influencing the newer history of Croatia and neighbouring states.
The cultural and religious pluralism can be seen especially in the typology and shape of weapons used in that region. About a hundred exhibits from the Arms and Armoury Collection of the Zagreb Croatian History Museum– muskets, pistols and yatagans – depict a harmonious intertwining of Western European and Islamic (oriental) shapes and decorations. Each weapon is a real masterpiece of art and craftwork, worn by members of all confessions and entities on the turbulent Balkans as a sign of their rank, reputation and worldview.