Székely National Museum

Székely National Museum
Sfântu Gheorghe


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If you want to know more about the Szeklers and the Magyars in Transylvania or you are simply interested in the history of the region, you will not find a better place than Székely National Museum.


Located in the heart of Szeklers in Sfantu Gheorghe city of Covasna, on Kos Karoly Street number 10, the Museum impresses at first sight by its distinct appearance, white colour and the architecture indicating clearly its Magyar characteristic, with specific Szekler area.


It is important to mention the fact that this is one of the oldest museums in the present territory of Romania, but also in this part of Europe, given that it was opened in 1875.


This specificity can be noticed right from the entrance, which is done through some Szekler gates with very sharp roof, such as the roofs of Magyar castles from the Middle Ages and the modern age.


The building itself, divided into two wings, distinguishes due to its bright white colour and vertical walls, interrupted by small windows, close to one another and nicely placed to avoid monotony. The roof is as tapering as the gateway, but much more impressive.


And if the Museum is beautiful on the outside, on the inside is even more beautiful. Again, you will find white, white everywhere. The architect Kos Karoly, one of the greatest architects of his time, knew how to give a special effect to the walls, so as they do not tire. In contrast, the interior arches and the floor, contrasting with the white walls, grant even more style, while the bust depicting Kos seems to watch over the staircase that leads upstairs.


Beyond the external aspect, the Museum hosts a true historical, ethnographic and naturalist treasure, in its four sections.


The first one is the library that contains books and documents in Hungarian, almost all of Szeklerland. By far, the most important of them is the Apor Codex, dating from the early sixteenth century, containing the psalms from the first Hungarian translation of the Bible. The library also contains the writings by the architect of the building, who was also a politician and thinker of the nineteenth century, and by other Hungarian nobles of the time.


Perhaps even more impressive is the collection related to natural sciences, with over 60,000 items, from mammals that lived in the Quaternary to the collections of plants and butterflies or even rocks from Szeklerland.


The purely Szeckler specificity of the area is most clearly represented by the huge ethnographic collection housed by the museum. From ordinary Szeklers costumes, to those wore by nobles or other higher nations, they are all present there. The carved Szekler doors, the pride of the region, the Szeckler star or the funeral star are not absent either, as well as the carved furniture which once adorned the houses of the area residents.


An important section which could not be absent in such a museum is the department of archaeology and history going through the evolution of the region, by the objects inside, all a few thousand years old. Such objects are: the painted pottery of Ariusd culture or Wittenberg culture, the weapons of the Scythians who passed by here and those of the Szeklers placed in the Carpathian passes to defend them.


In short, the Székely National Museum is one of the most beautiful and better equipped museums in Romania, even if one of the least known to the public. And it is such a pity, because it is not only one of the representative institutions for the regional culture, but also for history of Transylvania and Europe.

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