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The Romanian National Museum of History


  • located on 12, Calea Victoriei (Victoria Avenue)
  • the monumental building of the Post-Office Palace, that hosts the museum, raises on a place with an interesting history
  • in the 17th c., agha Constantin Balaceanu’s houses were to be found on the respective site
  • later, ruler Constantin Brancoveanu built here an inn called "Constantin Voda Inn"
  • the great fire of 1847, that burnt up a great part of the town, destroyed the inn, too
  • the ruins of the inn were demolished until 1862
  • the town councilors decided to set up The Post-Office Palace whose construction began in 1894, the inauguration taking place in 1900
  • the new building, in Neoclassical style, was raised after architect Alexandru Savulescu’s plans
  • the building has a main façade with steps on its entire length and a portico supported by 10 Doric columns
  • the extremities of the building, formed of two prominent sizes, were raised and each covered by cupola
  • the central post-office of the town functioned here until 1970, when the renovation work of the building started as well as the arrangement of the museum
  • in 1834, the Natural History and Antiquities National Museum was opened inside Sf. Sava College. Justice of peace Mihail Ghica donated his collection of antiquities.
  • in 1972 the museum was inaugurated and functions in the building of the Post-Office Palace
  • the collections of the museum contain 687.579 objects among which archeology - 78.580 objects, history – 183.714 objects, numismatics – 333.511 objects, old books -605 volumes, philately – 80.200 stamps






► Prehistory Neolithic









  Statuetă antropomorfă Statuetă cu vas pe cap  


► Lapidarium

  • it is hosted by a recently constructed part of the building
  • two storeys of building are dedicated to the display of Greek, Roman and medieval monuments
  • there are displayed: civil monuments ( documents, decrees, honorary monuments), religious (votive and funeral monuments), sculpture and decorative elements and architecture:

    • ♦ Civil Monuments - an extremely important document of this category is Hotărnicia Histriei given by Laberius Maximus in 100 A.D., the governor of Moesia Inferior province, in which the borders of Histria rural territory are delimited and some fiscal immunities are granted as regard to fishing in the Danube Delta



    • ♦ Honorary Monuments - five inscriptions are included: one from Pontic area, three from Moesia Inferior and one from Dacia. In both provinces the honorary inscriptions represent the expression of loyalty to the imperator and his family.
    • ♦ Funeral Monuments - are represented by a variety of types: stars with the representation of the funeral banquet, altars, medallions, small funeral monuments, crownings and pedestals. The statues and the funeral lions always lay by the funeral monuments. The stars are made of two parts: the inscription surface and the adorned surface. The upper part of the stars is plane. Most of the stars have the inscription in Latin, some in Greek. An important place in the funeral theme belongs to the scene of the funeral banquet, which appears not only on the stars but also on the small funeral monuments and on the altars. The small funeral monuments are constructions of small sizes, formed of three walls which support a roof. The central place is occupied by the defunct family. The personages are generally wholly figured. The altars have varied forms. There are altars with central inscription, with or without ornaments on the sides. The crownings are pointed end pilasters, with the busts of the deceased in the central part and symbolic elements on the other walls, or they are like a pyramid decorated with the figures of the deceased, mythological personages or elements of funeral symbolistic.
    • Votive Monuments - are the most wide-spread in the epigraphy of Dacia provinces and of Moesia Inferior. The cult relief has various forms of representation: sculpture in relief, the relief in fretwork and votive plaques, altars.

        Altar votiv Apulum Altar votiv Tomis  

    • Sculpture - includes 7 statues, all discovered in Moesia Inferior province. Three draped women statues included in the category of funeral statues, dating from the end of the 2nd c. and the beginning of the 3rd c. Two feminine statues of small sizes represent two mythological personages: Fortuna and a Muse, and the third represents a captive woman. There is only one statue representing a masculine personage wrapped in a toga.

        Statuie feminină Togat  

    • Architectural Elements - fragments of marble pieces of big buildings, discovered mainly at Tomis and Callatis.

    • Middle Age - comprises two categories of materials: pieces with religious character ( tombstones, sarcophaguses, inscriptions) and pieces belonging to architectonic monuments with laic character.

    ► Columna lui Traian (Trajan’s Column)
         it is to be found in the basement of the building

    • built in Trajan’s Forum in Rome, placed between Bibliotecha Graeca and Bibliotecha Latina and inaugurated on 12th of May 113, Trajan’s Column, one of the best preserved monuments of antiquity, was erected “for eternity”
    • Trajan’s Column which is to be admired at the National History Museum is a copy of the original Column in Rome
    • it is archeologist Emil Panaitescu’s merit for bringing the copy into being; he was the director of the Romanian School in Rome at that time
    • as a result of many memoirs addressed to the Academy, The Ministry of Public Education, The Ministry of Finance and Parliament, he got the financing for building the copy

      Campania Anului 102   Campania anului 105

    • the works of reproducing the column were made during the war by masters from Vatican, under Francesco Mercatalli’s supervision
    • started in 1939, the trunk of the column was finished in 1940, while the socle in 1943
    • the execution of the mouldings was closely supervised by Emil Panaitescu himself
    • from Emil Panaitescu’s report results that the Romanian state paid 769.000 lire for the copy of the column
    • the column was brought in the country in June 1967, becoming the possession of the Village Museum as the Post-Office Palace has not been yet transformed in museum

    ► Ancient History

    • Hellenic Civilization - the present day territory of Dobrudja was part, since early history, of what the ancient Greeks considered the known world. The foundation of the Hellenic colonies on the western shore of Pont Euxin (Histria, Tomis, Callatis, Orgame) conferred this territory a specific place, as center of culture and civilization, beginning with the 7th c. B.C., and lasting the whole ancient times. Compelling the attention of the Roman world, Dobrudja was part of Moesia Inferior province. In contrast with the realities in Dacia, the Romans found on the Pontic shore an old urban tradition materialized in the existence of the Hellenic colonies. These preserved their specific character during the Roman occupation, though many Roman citizens had settled and founded their properties in the territory and identified themselves with the social-economic life of the colonies. Under Rome’s protection, the Hellenic colonies from Pontul Stang knew flourishing moments, as an expression of the exceptional economic development of this territory.







    • Roman Dacia   -   The   Roman   Empire   conquered   the territories of the old Dacian kingdom in the two wars (101-102 and 105-106 A.D.) which changed for good the aspect of this territory. Rome’s influence changed the predominant rural aspect of the early Dacian period.









    • Pre-Christian Beliefs - Greek-Roman divinities are worshipped: Jupiter, Juno, Apollo, Mars, Mercurius, Diana, Venus, Minerva, Ceres, Bacchus, Micro-Asian, Egyptian and Syrian divinities, Celtic-Germanic and Thracian divinities. Like in other provinces of the Roman Empire in Dacia too, two phenomena in the religious field were manifesting: the religious syncretism that represented the merging of the attributes and characteristics of more divinities into one divinity, and Interpretatio Romana that signified local gods hidden under the names and aspects of some Roman ones.





    • During the first three centuries of Christian age, Christianity was forbidden and persecuted because of its new principles, contrary to polytheism, idolatry, imperial cult, principles that were considered as hostile attitudes. Constantin the Great was the first emperor who understood that persecutions only increased the interior disorder. Realizing that the new religion could become a powerful help for the state, he let it free through the Edict from Mediolanum (today Milan) in 313 A.D. Christianity spread all over the Empire and outside it too, becoming, during Teodosius I the Great (379-395), the only religion admitted in the state. The process of Christianization of the Daco-Romans took place at the same time with the process of Romanization, both processes ending in the second half of the 6th c., before the living together with the Slavs. The Christian religion spread with greater intensity in Scythia Minor province, where the archeological discoveries are in great number, vaults and inscriptions with the names of some religious martyrs, edifices and cult objects being known.



    • Migrations includes treasures, princely necropolis with an impressive inventory (Pietroasa, Buzău county; Conceşti, Iaşi county), golden jewels (diadems), coppers, but also pieces of harness made in late Roman workshops (Coşovenii de Jos, Dolj county).


    ► Medieval History

    ► Modern and Contemporary History

    • Personalities of the whole 19th c. and the first quarter of the 20th c. are present in the museum with a series of personal belongings, self-evident for their activity, subordinated to their national ideals.
    • the collections vary from documents, manuscripts, photos, costumes, flags, numismatic pieces, to painting, decorative art, furniture, weapons, silvery a.o.









      Coroana de aur a reginei Elisabeta Coroana de oţel  

    ► The Treasure - is to be found in the basement of the building and represents gold and silver objects, precious stones, among which: golden idols, helmets and harnesses form the Iron Age, the famous Visigoth treasure discovered at Pietroasele – Cloşca cu puii de aur (The Hen with Golden Chickens), the Byzantine Episcopal cross from Dinogeţia, crowns and jewels belonging to the royal family



    • The treasure from Pietroasa , known as " Cloşca cu puii de aur " was discovered in March-April 1837 by two peasants while gathering stones on Istrita Hill (750m). From the initial treasure made up of 22 pieces, the authorities retrieved only 12, weighing almost 19kg. Of these, five are pure gold: a big tray, a cup (oenochoe), a patera with decoration in relief and a statuette in the middle, a collar with inscription on it and a simple one, and the other seven are adorned with precious stones: a collar, four brooches and two polygonal vases, an octagonal one and another dodecagonal. The lost ten pieces were probably three collars, of which one with inscription, a cup alike the existing one (oenochoe), a simple patera, without decoration, a small brooch, pair with the existing small one, and two pairs of bracelets mounted with stones. The objects the treasure is made up of can be divided into two big categories: vases and jewels.


    ► Numismatics - offers an important collection of Greek, Roman, Byzantine and medieval foreign coins, banknotes, orders and medals.


      Bibliography:  * Ghidul Muzeelor Bucureştene, Editura Carte de Buzunar, Luminiţa Ionescu
                             * Information referring to the museum collections

    Copyright ©2009

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