The ASTRA Museum of Traditional Folk Civilization
The ideal place to maintain the authentic Romanian spirit, the Open Air Museum in Dumbrava Sibiului is located in a real paradise, in the natural reservation “Dumbrava Sibiului”. With a lake and over ten kilometers of alleys, the museum offers walks of all kinds, from the classic walk, to a short tour by carriage, sleigh or boat. The place rich in vegetation helps people to breathe fresh air, but also to ignore for a few minutes or hours the daily stress of the city. A visit to the Open Air Museum in Dumbrava Sibiului also has this feature to make you easily forget about everyday problems, taking you to a different world, with which you learn to communicate. It is a world created a long time ago, centuries ago, during a history in which Romanians created a place of their own, which would distinguish them from others, making them feel unique, creative, giving them a sense of devotion and helping them to resist those who wanted to change them in one way or another.
The story of the ASTRA Museum begins more than a century ago, initiated by the first dream of Romanians in Transylvania to organize in Sibiu, with the support of the Association for Romanian Literature and Culture of the Romanian People, an ethnographic collection. Its role was to highlight the most representative evidence about the distinctive features of the Romanian people, about what differentiated us from other peoples, things and phenomena that could explain to all who we are. The “products” of the Romanians’ talent had to represent the proof of the technical creativity and of the work of this nation. The first exhibition of the Museum of the Association, an institution from which the name ASTRA comes, took place in 1905.
A simple walk through the 96 hectares of the Astra Museum of Traditional Folk Civilization reveals to visitors an image of rural life throughout our country, materially manifested in over 400 houses, household annexes and technical installations. Moreover, the image is filled and animated by craft workshops, museum animations, fairs and traditional music and dance festivals organized here, through which popular creation retains its authenticity, while receiving current meanings to fit the rhythm of our lives today.
Why visit us
- The Lipovan household from Mahmudia, Tulcea County, faithfully revives the life of a fisherman from the Danube Delta, both through its location near the lake from Dumbrava Sibiului, and through the exposed fishing objects.
- The pastoral household from Poiana Sibiului is a typical house of the old wealthy shepherds of the localities around Sibiu and can be easily recognized, being painted in an intense blue, locally called ”proud Mary”.
- In the functional household of the Saxon vine grower from Şeica Mică, Sibiu County, visitors are invited to get to know the exhibits closely, to warm up at the stove and to take part in various workshops.
- The windmill from Curcani, Constanţa County, is not the only mill with canvas exhibited in the museum, but the last piece of this type that has survived in Romania until now.
- The church from Dretea, Cluj county, is the oldest monument of the museum, dating from 1672, with an extremely well-preserved painting and a significant artistic and utilitarian value.
- The priest’s household from Stăneşti, Alba county, has, according to the tradition told from the area, a special memorial value – it is said that Avram Iancu learned two primary classes here.
- The winegrower’s house in Vlădeşti, Vâlcea County, catches the interest through its porch and high stone base, being very similar, as the visitors noticed, with the house illustrated on the 10 lei banknote.
- The two households from the Gorj village of Găleşoaia, today depopulated, are representative for the typological evolution of the houses in the area after the peasants received properties after the First World War.
- Etno Tehno Park is an area for children, with functional models of technical installations in the museum, playground and a school in Ticera, Hunedoara County, where they can take part in interactive workshops.
- At the Country Fair, visitors are invited to meet local producers and participate in workshops that include, in addition to traditional dishes, other segments of popular culture and civilization.