The City Museum of History – The Prince Palace

The City Museum of History – The Prince Palace


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The Aiud Museum of History, the Aiud Citadel, the Bethlen Castle or the Princely Castle, they all refer to the same thing – the most impressive building in the Transylvanian town and one of the remarkable historical monuments on the territory of Transylvania, characterized by Hungarian and German type architecture.


Moreover, the Princely Castle holds the record of being one of the oldest museums in the current territory of Romania, founded in 1796 by Professor Benke Ferencz as “Museum of rarity and natural things”, near the Bethlen Academic College and moved to the current location.


Do you want do know how to get there? The locality in Alba County, which can be reached on the European Road 81, has this museum in the Europe Council Square at number 24. The entrance is through a corridor that once served as gateway.


The building, although visibly damaged, is impressive in several respects: first, its appearance – a true fortification with high walls and defence towers suggesting that its original purpose was a military one. Even the style is special, the specialists considering part of the “late Gothic”.


The three towers are the most impressive parts of the building – one is small, embattled and open, another is higher, with normal roof and the third one is very high and sharp. Inside the walls we can find the main part that hides most of the exhibitions in the museum. Even more interesting is the fact that the eastern wing has three floors and the western one has two, but they were so constructed to have the same height.


And one thing is clear about what you can see there, you will never get bored. The Museum has 30,000 pieces, divided into three rooms downstairs and one upstairs, most of them belonging to the ancient history – the new stone period, the iron period, then the Geto-Dacian one and the period of the great invasions of migratory people. Among them we can mention: vessels, jewellery, household items or weapons.


There is also a collection of objects from Papua New Guinea, sent by Samuel Fanichel in the nineteenth century, temporary art exhibitions or collections of documents.


In short, the Museum-Castle is worth seeing. For itself, for its history, but also for what it has become, that is for the collection of historic objects it contains. The visitor entering in one of the best equipped museums of its kind in Romania can mentally travel from the Neolithic civilization of Cucuteni to the Scythians and the Geto-Dacians who lived on these lands and the Gepids or the Avars who put them to fire and sword. It will be an experience worth living.

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