Explore the National Museum of Ethnography of Moldova

Vladlena Martus | Live the World

November 23, 2022

There are lots of museums that need to be explored in the capital of Moldova. Earlier, I told you about the National Museum of History in Chisinau, but today, we will get lost in the halls of the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History of Moldova. It is the oldest museum in our country, and it showcases the history of our cultural heritage. 

A pseudo-Mauritanian Palace

The oldest museum in Moldova was founded in 1889, by the initiative of a naturalist Baron Alexander Stewart, who became its first director. At first, the National Museum of Ethnography was situated in the building of the provincial district council of Chisinau. However, its funds were growing fast, and the collections were increasing. That led to a logical idea that the Ethnographical Museum should have its own building. Alexander Stewart announced a competition, where the project of an architect Vladimir Tsyganko won. He suggested a fashionable style for the new building, that was in vogue those times - pseudo-Mauritanian style. The uniqueness of this style lies in the similarity to a mosque, but there are no minaret and dome. Instead, there is just a roof. Thus, in 1905, the museum moved to a real palace, in which it is located up to this day. 

Picture © credits to locals.md

The mastodon skeleton and famous exhibitions 

Our Ethnography Museum contains rich collections of ethnographic, zoological, archaeological, paleontological exhibitions, as well as numismatics, traditional costumes, and carpets. Earlier, there was a small exhibition of objects of wooden architecture - "The mill and the carousel", in the museum courtyard. Permanent and modern exhibitions of the museum are: “Ecology, nature, culture”, “Natural sights of Moldova”, “Soil and agriculture of Moldova”, “Archaeological epochs on the territory of Moldova”. Watching rare plants and exotic animals gathered in the garden of the museum are interesting for both children and adults. The main and most famous “pearl” of the museum collection is the skeleton of a mastodon (Dinoterium Gigantisimus), one of the largest mammals that ever inhabited the earth and lived seven million years ago.

Picture © credits to Flickr/Ion Chibzii

The natural collection of the museum

There are very beautiful decorations inside the museum - multi-colored galleries, balconies, mosaics, windows. There stands a beautifully stylized white-stone tree on the first floor. In addition, in the museum, there is a Botanical Garden (the first one organized in the territory of Moldova), where the most unusual animals, birds and reptiles are represented to the wide audience. The zoological collection deserves special attention - plants and seeds of all plants growing on the territory of Moldova are stored there too. All information about the natural collection of the museum is presented in Romanian and Russian language. 

Picture © credits to Wikipedia/Gikü

The National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History of Moldova is situated in the center of Moldova - Chisinau. Thus, it is very simple to get there. Don't forget to make great photos and dive into the pages of the history of our country. However, don't plan to visit it on Mondays or during the state holidays in Moldova. It will be closed. So, on all other days - welcome to the oldest museum in our country and explore its best features!

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