The Best Galleries In Sibiu, Romania's Cultural Capital
One of the most beautiful cities in Romania and Europe’s Capital of Culture in 2007, Sibiu charms everyone with its medieval look and vibrant cultural life. This small city hosts some of Romania’s finest museums and exhibits unique collections that boost Sibiu’s fame as a must-see cultural destination in Central and Eastern Europe. Here is our insider’s guide to the best art galleries and museums in Sibiu.
The European Art Gallery, Brukenthal National Museum
The European Art Gallery is the central part of the Brukenthal National Museum, extending on the four levels of the Palace that hosts its 12 permanent exhibitions. Its collections vary from gothic art, cartography and prints to the domain of Transylvanian medieval art or the special section featuring the 23 masterpieces ‘recovered from the 1948 confiscation and the 1968 theft’. The gallery has dedicated spaces for the German and Austrian painting schools, displaying some 500 creations dated from the 15th to the 18th century, but it also displays the works of Flemish, Dutch and Italian painters.
Romanian Art Gallery, Piata Mare | Romanian Art Gallery
The Brukenthal National Museum’s Romanian art gallery is the perfect starting point for a cultural exploration of Romania’s most famous painters, navigating from the early 18th century to the mid-20th century in an unparalleled journey across time, influences and stylistic trends. 200 paintings are part of the gallery’s permanent exhibition that combines the very best ‘of Romanian national art and, at the same time, what is specific to the Brukenthal collection: the Transylvanian section’. The exhibition displays the creations of the likes of Johann Martin Stock, Franz Neuhauser, Misu Popp, Carl Dörschlag or Theodor Aman.
The Contemporary Art Gallery, Sibiu | Contemporary Art Gallery
Enjoying a splendid location in one of Sibiu’s representative century-old building, the Contemporary Art Gallery defines itself as a visionary space where contemporary artists can freely present and discuss their creations ‘resulting in its consecration as mark of the conceptual map that describes the contemporary Romanian artistic domain’. Part of the Brukenthal National Museum, the gallery is in fact one of Romania’s main contemporary art spaces, hosting the very best of the country’s contemporary artistic elite including less conventional street-art exhibitions.
Enjoying a breathtaking position on the shore of Lake Dumbrava, the Museum of Traditional Folk Civilization hosts the largest open-air ethnographic collection in Europe. Covering 40 hectares from the overall 96, this permanent exhibition displays a rich collection of traditional houses, mills and wooden churches, all representative for the Romania’s architectural and ethnographic heritage. Its impressive display of material culture is brought to life by numerous fairs and celebrations that recreate and preserve the traditional Romanian village.
The `Franz Binder` Museum of Universal Ethnography
A tour of Sibiu would not be complete without a visit to the ‘Franz Binder’ Museum of Universal Ethnography. A singular presence in Romania, the museum hosts the world’s second largest collection of objects from South Sudan – more than 500 items – that belonged to the 19th century merchant and explorer Franz Binder. Other exhibits of great value include a 2,000-year- old Egyptian mummy in its wooden sarcophagus donated more than 100 years ago as well as traditional objects from Argentina, China, Congo Ecuador, Japan and India.
Pharmaceutical History Museum, Sibiu | Courtesy Brukenthal Museum
A walk around the scenic Small Square of Sibiu will take you right to the Pharmacy Museum, a rare cultural attraction in Romania. Located in a historical monument from the 16th century where the third oldest pharmacy in Sibiu also known as ‘At the Black Bear’ functioned more than 400 years ago, the museum offers a fascinating incursion into the mysterious practices of the medieval pharmacy. More than 6,600 pieces present the evolution of apothecary practices and medication making the museum a definite must for the curious visitors who wish to explore the history of Sibiu in depth.
The `Emil Sigerius` Museum of Ethnography and Saxon Folk Art
Located in the very heart of the city, the Museum of Ethnography and Saxon Folk Artpresents more than 8,900 objects characteristic of the culture of the Transylvanian Saxons whose history in the region goes back many centuries. Grouped into three collections – folk costumes, textiles, and embroidery, painted furniture and ceramics – the exhibition brings to light complex pieces of Saxon heritage, one of the representative ethnic groups in Transylvania and a vivid reminder of the region’s impressive multicultural legacy.
Opened in 2007 in the Teutsch House – a 19th century orphanage – the Museum of the Evangelical Church from Romania is a reference point for the history of the German minority in the country. Part of a wider initiative to protect this specific cultural heritage through the conservation of cultural artefacts including old archives from over 270 Evangelical communities across Transylvania, the museum is an essential step in safeguarding the culture and history of the Evangelical Church.
Be sure to stop by Art VO Gallery, the only private gallery of contemporary art in Sibiu. Opened in 2000, Art VO displays over 800 works across its permanent collection, so a visit here is a great choice if you are looking to discover emerging talent. Aiming to promote Romanian contemporary art locally and abroad and also to bring art closer to its public, the gallery represents young talented artists such as Daniele Turcu, Georgian Apostolache, Eva Mitala, or Andu Marginean.