Regional Museum in Gjakova as an institution with special importance in society, was founded in 1951 with the request of the Association of Fighters from NLW, in order to collect and preserve the documentary material as well as the material with images from the period of war (1941-1944). The museum became official in 1973, when Kosovo’s Assembly issued the decision for commencement of the regular work of the museum.
The historical museum is situated in former sarays of fortresses of Abdulla Pashë Dreni, where the tempestuous events of the League of Prizren have developed. In this city, armed forces of the League of Prizren shot Mehmet Ali Pashë Maxharri. He had come with the recommendations of the ottoman government to convince the heads of the League in the city of Gjakova about territorial concessions towards its neighbors, based on the decisions of the Berlin Congress.
In the beginning this museum was dedicated as a museum on National Liberation War, where the majority of the exhibits are from that period.
Currently this museum is not functional because it is under renovation.
It has played an important role in dissemination of education and culture, in studying, in visual presentation and popularity of history, in recognition and specifics of a development of a nation.
Ethnographic museum is situated in the “Folklore House”, a house with the most interesting characteristics in the city, representing the typical urban residence. This house has been built already in 1830 by masters from Dibra.
The building has two storeys and two garrets. The first floor is uses for thematic exhibitions, while in this place there are other exhibits of the handicrafts cultivated in the city and its suburb.
The ethnography section of the Museum studies and follows the birth, development, progress and changes of the population during different socio-economic and cultural developments in all the phases of its development.
The museum is rich with different collections, such as the ones from agriculture and farming and the collection of some handicrafts that have not vanished yet. In this museum there is a collection of dresses with motives from different areas of Gjakova.
The Ethnography Collection has a stock of 1730 items of cultural materials found in urban and rural settlements of Gjakova region, during different historical periods.
This building has been converted to a museum in 1981.
The building initially belonged to the Gjakovar family Sina, and it was later purchased by Haxhismaili family. In 1981 it was taken from this family under ownership of the Municipal Assembly in order to convert it into an Ethnographic Museum.
In the museum there are mainly ethnographic exhibits.
Currently the museum uses two rooms for exhibits together with the corridor in the upper floor and the lower one, where some exhibits have been presented and it is used as a space for exhibitions.
Based on this situation, the professional staff has put efforts to bring many tools that are result of the work cultivated in the city of Gjakova in the past.
In the upper floor of the museum, in the corridor, there are some ethnographic exhibits of the dresses of population over time, such as the urban solemn Dallama embroidered with golden lines, national dresses of the Christian confession from Has area, woollen pants for national dress for kids, lots of copper dishes, dishes of households that have been used by the population in the past, bride’s box in which the dowry was placed on the wedding.
On the lefts side of this corridor one can notice many exhibits of domestic items used by the citizens in the past such as dining tables, carpets, etc.
Inside the museum there is one rare exhibit of characteristic dresses made by hand by the craftsmen of tailors from Gjakova for a Bey family Kryeziu, which due to their high value are kept in a safe box of the museum for security reasons, but time after time they are presented in exhibitions organized by the museum. In the lower part of the museum there are also other valuable exhibits. The pithos from Illyrian time is also exposed there, as an exhibit of a special value.
Gjakova Municipality is expected to establish also a museum of music, which aims at presenting the wealthy musical culture that Gjakova has had over decades.