During the First World War a part of Unification Museum’s collection – inaugurated in 1888 – was stolen or scattered.
After the Union of Transylvania with Romania in 1918, they moved the museum within the complex of Nation Reunification Cathedral.
And after the communists took the power, they moved it again, this time within Babylon building across Union Hall.
Built between 1851-53 with military destination, Babylon edifice has Romantic architecture.
Its more than 100 rooms spread on 2 floors.
These served as housing pavilion for officers before becoming a museum space in 1968.
Ever since the opening, this museum had important archaeological activities as well as of acquisition of ethnographic materials.
In 1983 they were distributing abroad the museum’s magazine in over 40 countries and 406 specialty institutions.
Unification Museum features:
– prehistoric Dacian, Roman and medieval archaeology exhibits,
– ethnography and folk art collections,
– numismatics, periodicals and a 55,000 volumes library.
Union Hall lies within the precincts of the former Army House built in 1900.
This was the place of festivities and receptions of Austrian-Hungarian Army’s.
On December 1st, 1918, within this hall, delegates voted for the union of Transylvania, Banat and Maramures with Romania.
They chose it for Great National Assembly unfolding because it was the most spacious building in the city.
And the only one that could accommodate the 1228 delegates of Romanian nation.
Several years later, on the occasion of the coronation, they amazingly embellished it.
They added the vault and a monumental portal at the entrance, in the shape of an arch of triumph.
Under the arcade an inscription in Latin language thrones commemorating the event from December 1.
In 1968, on the occasion of Union’s bi-centenary celebration, they organized the building as exhibition space.
What to look for within the exhibition
The central hall hosts an exhibition dedicated to the 1918 moment, the items here being of great value.
Among the most important there are:
– the personal objects and letters of the famous outlaw Avram Iancu,
– the 6 volumes in tricolor leather containing the Union Documents from December 1, 1918.
– the photo camera used to take the only 5 photos of the Union and the photos !
The unofficial photographer of that day was a war veteran.
This was the only possessor of a photo camera of all those 100,000 union attendees.
The city’s official photographer, who would have taken a set of photos on that day, was missing under suspicious circumstances.
The ethnographic exhibition within Union Hall reveals Romanian traditions in the area, especially from Western Mountains region.
And it even reconstitutes a traditional fair.
In 1968 communists restored both Unification Museum and Union Hall.
They plated the last one with Romanian white marble on the floors and red on the walls and columns.
They also removed all details reminding of Romanian Kingdom.
And replaced the canvas paintings made by a French painter with frescoes made by Romanian artists.
Most probably because the paintings were representing Romanian rulers and cultural personalities.
On re-inauguration day, nearby the museum, they unveiled Voivode Michael the Brave’s equestrian statue, made by sculptor Oscar Han.
During the ‘90s restoration of Union Hall they tried to give back to the interior its form from 1922 inauguration.
See you all back here soon for more free tips, picked expressly for you.
Meanwhile feel free to address me any question you might have about Romania.
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