The Miracle Room

cudotvornica-2-1Hungarian architect Alajos Hauszmann designed a gazebo in the eastern section of the garden of the former Governor’s Palace, above the orangery where citrus trees were safeguarded in the winter. The governor’s wife and her guests spent time there, bathed in the afternoon sunshine. It is not difficult to imagine these women’s get-togethers – always the same, yet again so different…

But times change. In just over one hundred years it went from being the governor’s residence, an architectural jewel that even today accents the urban appearance of our city and powerfully reflects the era of Rijeka’s greatest economic, urban and cultural progress, to a museum – a place where the past, present and future intertwine more intensely than anywhere else in the city.

Today the museum is recognized for its rich inventory and location in a majestic neo-Renaissance building, but also for its exhibitions, publishing and educational activities, which from year to year are attracting increasing numbers of those for whom the museum’s programmes reveal pieces of their own past and history, those roots that always tie people to the place of their predecessors and their own childhood and formative years.

Dedicating great attention to children, especially those of preschool and early primary school age, who sometimes first encounter concepts such as heritage in the museum, as well as spaces different from those in which they usually reside, their own past and the pasts of their parents and grandparents – the former garden gazebo has been conceived as a place geared to the youngest guests. And you can’t go wrong because everything here is an invitation to play: the colours and paper installations, made by young artists Ivana Postić and Matej Vočanec, and the materials used to create miracles during creative workshops, at which – with play – the first steps into the rich and magical world of heritage are taken.

And so, in just over a century, a place for crinoline and hushed conversations has become a boisterous, colourful and playful space in which children have the last word. There orangery is no more, and the gazebo is now the Miracle Room… – the Museum’s workshop and playpen. A little factory of miracles in which games, imagination and reality intermingle and in which the mood is always merry…
The Miracle Room’s programmes have been conceived as museum workshops aimed at specific groups of children, and they imply focused communication, interaction and active involvement by each participant. At workshops, children create knowledge through mutual experiential learning. The activities have been thoughtfully formulated and organized for specific groups of children, and their implementation is aimed at encouraging a positive attitude as a powerful motivation for research and learning. Through play – the most successful method for constructing knowledge and ability – children discover their creative capabilities, develop their imaginations, emotions and dexterity, gain confidence in their own potential and create a positive self-image. They simultaneously develop verbal, cognitive and mnemonic skills, learn to behave socially and form bonds of friendship…

The feeling of satisfaction and success encourages self-confidence while curiosity equates learning with progress; feelings of empowerment and resolve, as well as the ability to interact and a readiness to cooperate and help others are fostered. All of these are traits that contribute to the development of emotional intelligence, and children and youths acquire them at museum workshops.
The Miracle Room’s year-round programme encompasses various activities aimed at different age groups, individual or group visitors, either tied to their school-work or their leisure time…


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