Interest for the past and its remains is a constant characteristic of human spirit. Many sciences and scientific disciplines have developed from that interest, as well as many activities which are directly or indirectly related to it. Their level of development is one of the criteria for the civilization achievements.
One of these activities is the museum one.
Scientific interests in antiques have existed in the area of Gornje Polimlje for a long time, and archaeological researches completed so far gave very interesting results.
Although there were some attempts in the past to conduct archaeological researches on some sites, they were on the amateur level and caused more damage than good, so these kinds of attempts needed to be banned. Professional work on a deeper study of the past in the area of Gornje Polimlje began in the second half of the 20th century. Excavations have so far been conducted on these localities: Trepački krs, Kremenštica, Beran-krš, Lužac, Budimlja, Lisijevo Polje, Rudeš, Šudikova, Ćelije, Namastir etc.
Material that would testify human existence in the area of Gornje Polimlje in the Paleolithic era – up to 10,000 years BC, have not been found yet, but the area had been inhabited without any doubt in the Mesolithic era (9,000 – 6,000 years BC). Material remains discovered during the archeologocal excavations in this area evidenced this claim, and the excavations had been conducted by, among others: Ante Mišura, Dragoslav Srejović, Čedomir Marković, Aleksandrina Cermanović, Predrag Lutovac etc. The remains are kept in the Museum of Polimlje.
The main task of the Museum of Polimlje, just like any other museum, is to collect, preserve, scientifically process and present objects. The aim of the Museum of Polimlje is to chronologically, territorially and thematically present the history of Gornje Polimlje, on the basis of the objects it possesses. To what extent this attempt was successful in the past and will be so in the future, depends on its professional potential, as well as providing spatial, material and other conditions.
More intensive and systematic collection of the ethnologic material began at the time, as well as the archaeological researches of the localities from the Neolithic period.
The building of the Museum was greatly damaged during an eartgquake in Montenegro in 1979. Repairing, and at the same time reconstruction of the building, lasted over a decade, and the museum, with the new exhibit setting, was opened in July 21, 1992.
The museum had been located in that building for only four years, after the building had been returned to the Serbian Orthodox Church. Currently, it is the palace of the Reverend Bishop of Budimlja-Nikšić.
The museum was moved to the building of the Sobriety Home in 1996, which is located at the center of the town. The building had been totally reconstructed at the time, partly for the purposes of the museum and partly for other purposes.
The building of the Sobriety Home was founded by the King Aleksandar I Karadjordjević, and it was the royal gift to this region when His Majesty visited Montenegro in 1925, on which occasion he passed through Vasojevići- the craddle of the dynastic lineage Karadjordjević.
The building had originally been built for the needs of the Sober Youth and Soko societies, and later became a center of cultural activities in Berane. Various events, including masked balls, concerts, theater plays etc. had been organized there. In the first year of the World War II, after the 13 July Uprising and liberation of Berane from the Italian occupiers, this building hosted an Assembly of People’s Representatives of all the municipalities of the county of Berane, when the Committee of National Liberation for the County of Berane was elected- the first governmental body in occupied Europe.
The building was used for various social needs after the war, but it became dilapidated because of the poor maintenance. In terms of construction, the building was well reconstructed. However, the museum space is confined, since the town library and the meeting room are also there, and that is why only the small part of the rich museum collections is exhibited, including the material from the municipalities of Andrijevica and Bijelo Polje.
The total material, about 10,000 museum objects, is divided into several collections:
- Arms collection
The representative objects from these collections are exhibited in the museum departments, in about forty glass cases.