The Museum of Gacka is a county museum situated in the center of Otočac, a town with rich historical and cultural tradition. It’s assumed that Otočac was first mentioned in famous Baška tablet, one of the first monuments containing an inscription in the Croatian language, dating from the year 1100. The tablet was discovered in 1851 in the paving of the Church of St. Lucy, Jurandvor, near Baška on the island of Krk. The name of the city probably originates from the word otok (small island), since Otočac was situated on small island in the middle of the river Gacka. Replica of this tablet is situated in the museum’s lobby.
The life and work of Illyrian tribe, the Japodes, are shown through the archaeological collection of weapon, jewellery, tools, and pottery from the middle of late Bronze age, i.e. the 10th century B.C., to the time of coming of the Romans in the 1st century B.C.
There is a valuable memorial collection of academic painter Stojan Aralica (1883-1980), the world famous color painter. He was born in Škare, village near Otočac, and died in Belgrade where he lived most of his life. Author’s oil paintings, ink, pencil and carbon drawings, his personal belongings, photos, and painting tools are exhibited here.
There is also a collection of drawings of local amateur artist Željko Barković Barkan (1952-2002). He was preoccupied with these motives: the universe, heaven, God, mystic landscapes, nature, catastrophe, alien creatures, unidentified flying objects, etc.
In the Croatian War of Independence collection you can see light and heavy weapons that were used in the war, the shell and aircraft bomb fragments, bullets, etc., and the chronology of the war events with the photos of damaged buildings.
In the basement you can see the ethnographic collection which describes the traditional life and the culture of the Gacka in the last hundred years. There are exhibits of traditional culture typical for this area (tools for the production of textile objects, objects made from wood, wool, textile, ceramic and metal) and typical regional costumes for men and women.