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The beginnings of the police museum date back to 1920. Through its history, it has operated under different names and as part of different organisational units of internal affairs bodies, often changing locations across Ljubljana, while playing the role of a specialist national museum.

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Preserving our historical heritage

A major milestone for the museum was the time when it opened to the public and began to operate as the Slovenian Police Museum within the Ministry of the Interior in 2006. Before the 1990s it operated as a crime study room.

The museum displays police- and justice-related heritage and fosters the understanding of the role of internal affairs bodies and the justice system, past and present, in the Slovenian territory by collecting, documenting, storing, examining and showcasing tangible and intangible evidence. It seeks to attract experts and the general public alike. It is an important educational tool and a source of professional knowledge. The museum provides a setting for preventive awareness-raising about crime and functions as a promoter of the mission of the police.

It cooperates with a number of other museums and institutions in preparing various museum projects. It also prepares exhibitions with which it tours towns and cities in Slovenia and takes part in the celebrations of International Museum Day and other cultural events. By implementing a strategy of development of museum activity, including the expansion of museum facilities and increasing the staff, the museum is gradually approaching the level of contemporary police museums. The museum’s vision is to continue the long police museum tradition in the Slovenian territory and become a professionally and internationally recognised contemporary museum that is a cultural hub and a centre for studying the history of the police and justice system.

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From gendarme to police officer

After acquiring additional museum premises on Kotnikova Street in Ljubljana in 2020 to mark the 100th anniversary of the museum, an exhibition was set up tracing the history of the police and the museum, back to the very beginnings of the organised police force in Slovenia. Many a visitor will remember the former police force, and some will recall their older relatives who maintained order as gendarmes in the old Yugoslavia or even back in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The profession of gendarme was highly respected at the time. The qualification requirements for a gendarme were stricter than the entry requirements for today’s police. Candidates had to be of proper height and the gendarmerie accepted in its ranks only young, unmarried men without children, who signed an employment contract and moved to a gendarmerie station to devote their life to providing public security, order and peace. At the beginning, around 1850, they even had no annual leave.