Brukenthal National Museum - European cultural heritage

Eva Poteaca | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Sibiu is one of the most beautiful medieval cities in Transylvania. When you come there, you should add the Brukenthal National Museum to your must-visit list, as it hosts European cultural heritage - one important European art collection and one of the biggest collections of Romanian art.

One of Europe's first museums

Like many museums in the world, the collection started due to a passion of one art lover, in this case, Samuel von Brukenthal, who began purchasing works of art during the time he lived in Vienna. After returning in Transylvania, Samuel von Brukenthal was appointed the Habsburg governor in Transylvania and occupied this position between 1778 and 1787. In his will, Samuel von Brukenthal left his entire collection in the custody of the Evangelic Church, mentioning that his collection should be open to the public. It was one of Europe's first public museums, opened in 1819. Louvre, for example, was opened to the public in 1793.

The collections today

The Brukenthal Palace, where Samuel von Brukenthal lived in Sibiu, hosts the European Art Gallery, but the collection of the museum was extended and includes the Romanian Art Gallery, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of History, the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Pharmacy.

The European Art Gallery

One of the most important European art collections is hosted here. As mentioned above, it shows the love towards the art of the collector. One of the most significant paintings here is the Man in a Blue Cap done by the master Jan van Eyck.

Jan van Eyck, Man in a Blue Cap

Picture © Credit to: Christof Weber

The Romanian Art Gallery

About 200 Romanian paintings done by Transylvanian masters such as Nicolae Grigorescu, Ștefan Luchian or Nicolae Tonitza are displayed in the Blue House, next to the Brukenthal Palace. The permanent exhibition was opened in 2009 and displays works of art which highlight the European influence on Romanian art.

The Brukenthal Palace and the Blue House

Picture © Credit to: sorincolac

The Museum of History

The Museum of History is located in the Altemberger House, an important architectural example of Renaissance influence. I really like this museum because its room offers a presentation of human activities and an illustrative image of the day-to-day life. It also hosts a Roman Lapidary, a Medieval Lapidary, glass-work, and treasures.

The Museum of National History

Through the light and sound installation one can feel like an explorer while visiting this museum. There is definitely a dynamic atmosphere in the Live World, the Ecosystem, the Paleontology, the Mineral and the Garden exhibitions.

For those who have the time, try also to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Museum of Pharmacy, you won’t regret it. The National Museum Brukenthal is surely a place of European cultural heritage and visiting it offers you a great perspective of Romanian and European Art and the influence of the great masters on local artists.

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