Short and frequent trips would be ideal, in my opinion. Short, for financial reasons, of course, shorter is cheaper. Frequent, because I have to recover what I lost in the pandemic. This summer started well. I've already made two trips. The first, to the sea, a little too early. The second is to an extremely interesting town in Transylvania called Sibiu. We had three days full of walks, cafes, exhibitions, and museums.
Now I will tell and show, as much as I could save in photos, the biggest and most visited museum in town, the Brukenthal Museum!
The Brukenthal Museum!
Before we get to the museum, some information about Sibiu from the internet's largest encyclopedia, of course, Wikipedia.
Sibiu was initially a Daco-Roman city called Cedonia. The town was refounded by Saxon (German) settlers brought there by king Géza II of Hungary. They came from territories of the Holy Roman Empire and the Kingdom of France (nowadays parts of Germany, France, and the Benelux countries) and arrived around 1147. The first references to the area were Cibinium and Cipin from 1191 when Pope Celestine III confirmed the existence of the free prepositure of the Saxons in Transylvania, having its headquarters in Sibiu. In 1223, it was renamed Villa Hermanni, either in honor of archbishop Hermann II of Cologne or after a man who is believed to have founded the city, Hermann of Nuremberg. The actual German name of Hermannstadt ("Hermann's city") dates from 1366, while an earlier form, Hermannsdorf ("Hermann's village") was recorded in 1321.
Together with you, I learned that Sibiu is a very old city, I can also certify that I saw houses (still inhabited) built in the 12th and 13th centuries, but I will talk about houses and streets in another post.
When I say Sibiu I mean the old town, the old center, and because it is a town built by the Saxon colonists, it is bound to have a central square. In fact, Sibiu has two squares, a big one, called the Big Square, and a smaller one, called... the Small Square! Logical, isn't it?
The Brukenthal Museum is located in the Big Square.
The large building is on the left side of the picture.
The museum is called Brukenthal because it is housed in the palace built by Baron Samuel von Brukenthal, former governor of Transylvania.
In 1817, a few years after the Baron's death, the museum was opened for visits.
In front of the museum is a statue of Samuel Brukenthal. This is a well-deserved tribute to the memory of the baron, who made an important contribution to the development of the city.
So, looking at the statue as well as the people in the square, we arrived in front of the museum. Messages of support for Ukraine are in every city in Romania.
After passing through the monumental gates, it was with interest and curiosity that I entered the building, but I received bad news. Photography in the museum was not allowed, except for the inner courtyard. I went to leave my camera in a box at the entrance. I still managed to photograph the entrance before handing over the camera.
A short presentation of the museum, also with the help of Wikipedia, because it is much better and easier to understand than I could write.
The Brukenthal National Museum is a museum in Sibiu, Transylvania, Romania, established in the late 18th century by Samuel von Brukenthal (1721-1803) in his city palace. Baron Brukenthal, governor of the Grand Principality of Transylvania established his first collections around 1790. The collections were officially opened to the public in 1817, making the museum the oldest institution of its kind on the territory of modern-day Romania.
I appeal to these short quotes from the encyclopedia because they present historical data that I did not know, leaving me to show what I saw and what impressed me, as an ordinary visitor who crosses the threshold of this museum.
However, the fact that photography is forbidden (I can't figure out why) is a blow to any presentation, a museum is easier to show and harder to tell. Normally the presentation should have ended here but, long live the smartphone! I managed to take, as unobtrusively as possible, a few photos from inside.
The main collection is of European paintings from the 15th to the 18th centuries, Flemish-Dutch, German and Austrian, Italian, Spanish, and French Schools.
Apart from the painting collection, equally and perhaps even more interesting were the objects belonging to Brukenthal, the furniture, the apartments where he lived, and the place where he received guests. I could not photograph these rooms because there were very attentive supervisors...
I did manage to photograph a very interesting stove, which was in fact a kind of radiator because the fire was made in the basement and the heat circulated through some pipes and heated several stoves of this kind.
I also managed to photograph a beautiful kitchen cabinet...
The last but not least, I managed to photograph the painting I liked the most and I think very valuable, painted by Bruegel the Younger, of course, son of Bruegel the Elder!
In addition to the European collection of medieval paintings, the collection of ecclesiastical objects and also a collection of Romanian plastic art that contains some remarkable works of classical Romanian painters.
We spent a few pleasant hours in the palace which is a remarkable place and well worth a visit. I rushed to see what the palace courtyard had to offer, the place where I could photograph without prohibitions.
First, we saw a "live exhibit", a very friendly cat!
Then we visited an exhibition called Lapidarium, a place where stone works are exhibited, mostly old bas-reliefs from buildings and cemeteries.
It was a rather stiff and cold exhibition, like any stone. We stepped out into the warmth of the courtyard and followed the cute cat to the last part of the palace, a small rose garden.
The most interesting exhibit, which impressed me the most, suddenly appeared in front of us as we passed the rose garden.
A so-called triptych, a statue of three faces.
A statue from the 2nd or 3rd century, found in the center of Romania, is probably a Roman statue. Almost 2000 years old. Impressive!
Finally, the roses came to bring us to the present. The garden where the Baron probably rested on summer days, as we did.
I must admit it was a long and interesting visit. A museum worth visiting. I spent a few hours in the past of these places, seeing how the inhabitants (the richest) of this city lived. The city was calling us too and we hurried our steps towards the exit!
In the Big Square, it was inserted and everything got a different image.
Still, a lot of places were calling us, and we still had a lot to discover in this beautiful city.