The Regional Museum in Decin, a contributory organization of the Usti Region, has been housed in the building of the former Thun-Hohenstein nobility administration from the 18th century since 1953. It also includes two large regional branches in Rumburk and Varnsdorf. In total, it manages more than 220,000 collection items, mostly of a regional nature. Objects from the 19th century, from the time of the rapid development of the Usti Region, predominate. The museum also participates in expositions at the Decin chateau.
Decin has been the center of Elbe navigation since ancient times: its inhabitants have always built and owned boats and lived from trade. The museum has been specializing in this area since 1969, when it opened a permanent exhibition entitled “Development of Shipping on the Elbe.” The collections of photographs, professional publications, navigation maps and ship drawings are among the largest in the Czech Republic. The museum also offers occasional tours of the unique Beskydy tugboat.
Historically, the most valuable exhibition is the permanent exhibition “Gothic Art in the Decin Region,” with a representative collection of Gothic sculptures of the 14th – 16th centuries from the region. The oldest form of the town of Decin is shown by the permanent exhibition “Town on a Meadow,” where there are finds from the original (now defunct) royal town, which moved in the 14th century to its current location, north of the castle.
The recent history of the town is illustrated by a smaller exhibition “A walk through old Decin,” which presents the appearance of Decin and the opposite Podmokel, especially in the 18th and 19th centuries. The museum also has a smaller permanent science exhibition “Birds of the Decin Region.” Part of the space is set aside for thematic exhibitions, which change regularly.
The museum in Decin partly fulfills the role of a gallery. Well-known and regional artists and local art groups also regularly get their exhibitions here. The museum’s regular program also offers creative workshops, educational programs, and cultural events.
The area of the museum courtyard with a large collection of sculptural artifacts and a landscaped garden is used for social events, but also for a quiet sitting during summer days. Popular are the Children’s Day celebrations and the well-attended Museum Christmas Fair.