The Transylvanian Museum of Ethnography is the first ethnographical museum in Romania. It was founded in 1922 and it has started its activity officially since 1st of January 1923. It is the first Romanian museum founded on a scientific program, having great specialists of the epoch as contributors.
In 1957, the Transylvanian Museum of Ethnography received the present main building, the historical building “Reduta” on Memorandum Street no. 21, and beginning with 1958 the staff started the restoration works. The Museum is unfolding its activity in this building till nowadays, becoming one of the most important landmarks on the cultural map of Romania.
The Institution has two sections: the indoor section, hosted by the Reduta Palace and the open-air section (the National Ethnographical Park “Romulus Vuia”), located in the Cluj traditional recreational area in Hoia forest.
The preservation and restoration of the immovable and movable heritage in the two sections is ensured by the Conservation-Restoration Department, which also includes an Icon Workshop involved in activities of museum education and organisation of exhibition events.
The main building of the Transylvanian Museum of Ethnography took the name of the Main Hall, called “Reduta” (from the French redoute = dance hall). The history of the edifice is much older. In the Middle Age, there were three buildings on this place, one of that preserving a Renaissance frame from the beginning of the 17th century. In the 18th century, the building hosted the most important inn of Cluj, called “Calul alb” (White Horse) or “Calul Bălan”.
The National Ethnographic Park “Romulus Vuia” in Cluj-Napoca, the first open-air museum in Romania, was founded on the 1st of June 1929, as a section of the Ardeal Museum of Ethnography, through the decision of the Cults and Arts Ministry.
This innovative vision adopted lately by most of the European profile museums was abandoned because of an unfavorable situation, so that only the technical sector and the one of the zonal farmsteads were organized on 16 hectares having the structure of a traditional dispersed village.
The first sector contains peasant technical installations and workshops dated in between 18th and 20th centuries. They illustrate the traditional techniques of wood and iron processing, of gold getting, of wool fabrics processing, of clay and stone processing, of cereals crushing and of oil getting.
The second sector contains traditional peasant farmsteads representative for distinctive ethnographical areas in Transylvania, including constructions dated between 17th and 20th centuries, having the whole necessary household inventory.
Selected rigorously and with scientific purposefulness and uprightness, as a result of long research campaigns, by three generations of ethnographers, stimulated by the professional devotement of some important personalities such as Valeriu Butură, the exhibited buildings – most of them being dated by inscriptions – are among the oldest and most valuable monuments of architecture in the Romania’s ethnographical heritage.More...