Brukenthal National Museum, the first public museum in south-eastern Europe, is a prestigious European institution and one of the most important in the country. It has its main headquarters in the Brukenthal Palace, built by Baron Samuel von Brukenthal between 1778 and 1788.
Named Governor of Transylvania, position which he held between 1777 and 1787, Samuel von Brukenthal builds in Sibiu a late Baroque style, after the model of the Viennese palaces. Brukenthal Palace is one of the most important architectural monuments in Romania, being erected to serve as the Baron’s official residence and headquarters of his collections. The edifice’s façade, different from those of the other buildings in the Big Square, is designed in a late, austere Baroque style. The building still maintains a series of the original elements, such as the façade’s decoration, including the blazon of the Brukenthal family, furniture, artistic carpentry, tapestry, ironware or chandeliers.
Baron Samuel von Brukenthal was a renowned collector of European art. In 1790, he opened the art gallery in his palace to the public, three years before the opening of the Louvre Museum in Paris. However, the official inauguration took place in 1817, when, in accordance with Brukenthal’s will, his palace was transformed into a cultural institution, housing the Museum of the Transylvanian Saxon Population.
Nowadays, the museum is composed of several distinct sections, but housed in different edifices as it follows: European Art, Romanian Art and the Library (inside Brukenthal Palace), Contemporary Art, the History Museum (inside the Altemberger House), the Natural History Museum, History of Pharmacy and Arms and Hunting Trophies.
The European Art section aims at creating a bridge between the characteristic of the Transylvanian art to European cultural manifestations. Here you can admire a diversity of objects, ranging from Transylvanian sculptures in stone, dating from the 13th – 19th centuries, to European engravings. The museum also enjoys a collection of exceptionally valuable Anatolian rugs, as well as impressive paintings, most of them belonging to the German, Austrian, Flemish, Dutch or Italian schools. The Romanian art section outlines the evolution of the Romanian painting during the 18th – 20th centuries. It includes 200 valuable paintings belonging to important figures, such as Theodor Aman, Nicolae Grigorescu, Theodor Pallady, Nicolae Tonitza, Corneliu Baba and Ion Ţuculescu.
Brukenthal Library is located in the Palace’s second interior courtyard. To the initial volumes purchased, the Baron gradually added other collections, the library now having around 280,000 volumes. Among the most important ones are the manuscripts (such as the Brukenthal Breviary) and the rare European, Romanian and Transylvanian books, dating as early as the 16th century.
Summer schedule (March 21st – October 21st)
Tuesday – Sunday: 10:00 – 18:00
Closed on Monday and on the first Tuesday of every month.
Winter schedule (October 21st – March 21st)
Wednesday – Sunday: 10:00 – 18:00
Closed on Monday and Tuesday.
Tel: +40 369 101 780
Fax: +40 269 211 545
How to get there:
Brukenthal National Museum is located in Sibiu city centre, dominating the Big Square.
By bus: Although the train station in Sibiu is within walking distance from the historic centre, you can also take buses #13, #17 and #22.