The Transylvanian Ethnographic Museum
History and Location
Founded in 1922, the Transylvanian Ethnographic Museum is both the first ethnographic museum in Romania and the first Romanian museum designed on the basis of a scientific program. Research campaigns conducted in 1922-1923 led to the acquisition, as ethnographic materials, 1,230 objects and 160 photographs that constituted the first permanent ethnographic exhibition at the museum.
In 1928 was inaugurated the first exceptional permanent exhibition – organized into different thematic areas: harvesting, hunting, fishing, agriculture, livestock, domestic textile industry, pottery, furniture, building elements, the kitchen, traditional clothing, fabrics, and carpets, and ethnographic cartography.
Since 1957, the Ethnographic Museum of Transylvania – the administrative headquarters and pavilion section – operates from the historical “Reduta” building on no. 21 Memorandului Street. The building has a long history, hosting over time significant events for the current development of society in Cluj. For example, in the eighteenth century, the building housed the most important of Cluj’s inn: “Calul Alb” (or “Calul Balan”) was later transformed into a school for officers. In the nineteenth century took place here sessions of the Transylvanian Diet, great musicians of the world such as Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms, Bela Bartok or George Enescu, they performed in the Reduta Hall and in 1894 the “Memorandum Process” took place here.
The Ethnographic Museum has a pavilion section, housed in the the Reduta Palace and another outdoor (“Romulus Vuia” National Ethnographic Park) located in the Hoia Forest.
Also worth mentioning is the icon workshop, which is involved with the pedagogy museum and the organization of exhibitions.
The Transylvanian Ethnographic Museum has, besides valuable artifacts and an audio-visual archive (photo library, video library, archive negatives and slides), a documentary archive and a library which includes over 14,000 volumes and specialist periodicals that can be consulted on the spot – with management approval.
The artifacts, numbering 41,542 are original and date back to the eighteenth century, largely coming from rural Transylvania. The are composed of the surprising cultural environment of the main ethnic groups in Transylvania: Romanians, Hungarians, Saxons, and gypsies. Of course, the museum holds artifacts from other Romanian provinces and even abroad. Thematically, they illustrate different aspects of traditional life in rural communities in the Transylvanian area. Thus far, the artifacts are divided into several sections: occupations, home – eating, ceramics, textiles, clothing, customs, international and outdoor sections.
The current museum’s permanent exhibition entitled “Traditional Culture in Transylvania – XVIII – XX centuries”, reconstructs through the artifacts exhibited a complex, dynamic, harmonious, and intercultural rural universe that can be found well preserved even today in some parts of Transylvania. The exhibition captures the traditional occupations such as manufacturing (sector organized by the raw materials used), traditional musical instruments (you will find buciume, cavale lauta, titera), traditional foods (objects used in cooking), peasant clothing and ornaments representing Fagaras, the surroundings of Sibiu, Szekelyfold, Oas, Maramures, Nasaud, the Saxons of Bistrita, Țara Motilor, Calata, Beius and Ineu, Carbunari or Padureni and habits most pronounced in rural life Transylvania (exhibits events such as baptisms, weddings, funeral rites, as well as rites of pre-Christian origin), etc.
Part of the project “everyone has equal access to culture,” the tactile exhibition, “touch and understand – the message of traditional peasant objects ” is intended primarily for visitors with visual impairments, but is open and regular visitors eager to know these objects in another manner.
Program de vizitare
Tuesday – Sunday: 9am – 5pm
Adults: 6 lei/person
Reduced Price: (preschool, elementary, high school, and universty students, and pensioners): 3 lei/person
Take advantage of exemption from entry fees: people with disabilities, children in institutions, ICOM card holders, employees of museums in the country, on the day the ticket concerned.