The Museum of the Dacian and Roman Civilization Deva founded in 1882 is located at the foot of the Deva Fortress, in the Magna Curia building or better known the Bethlen Castle. Few know that this building, which is home to thousands of unique objects, is the oldest. historical monument building in Deva, which won the “fight” over time. In 1998, the building entered into a restoration process which ended in 2006. If you arrive in the county residence, a walk in the Cetate Park will take you in front of the museum, an imposing building, with a special architecture. Due to the fact that this building is a special and important one, a beauty in Baroque style, the edifice was included on the List of Historical Monuments of category A, that is to say historical monuments of national or universal value.
Three sections worth visiting
Within the institution at the foot of the fortress there are sections that bring together three important areas, namely: history, art and natural sciences. The museum houses archeology collections from the periods: prehistoric, Dacian, Roman, pre-medieval and early medieval, numismatic collections, collections of decorative art, ethnography, such as folk costumes, tools, pottery from Botiza, icons on glass, collections of natural sciences and a library of approximately 40,000 volumes.
The tombstone houses the most representative pieces of the museum’s patrimony
In the immediate vicinity of the devean museum a permanent exhibition was arranged, in a construction that was realized in 2012. It is regarding Lapidarium, which houses some of the most representative pieces in the museum’s patronage. Some of these objects come from prehistory, the Dacian era and the Roman period. In the courtyard of the museum is reconstructed a set of high stone blocks whose functionality, on a smaller scale, must have been similar to that of the megaliths from Stonehenge (United Kingdom) or Carnac (France).
Brief history of the building
In 1582, the captain of the garrison of the city of Deva, Francisc Geszty, builds a house on the site of the present monument. This house will be used as a residence by Sigismund Báthory, General Basta, Stefan Bocskay, Gabriel Báthory and Gabriel Bethlen.
In 1621 Gabriel Bethlen radical transforms the original construction, resulting in the Magna Curia palace. After the union of Transylvania with Romania, in 1918, Bethlen Castle passed into the ownership of the Romanian state, and from 1938 the History Museum of Hunedoara County was created in the castle.
Lapidarium, the most interesting exhibition of the museum in Deva, contains thousands of stone objects from thousands of years old
The Lapidarium within the Museum of Dacian and Roman Civilization Deva is the place where, if you are passionate about history, you can admire the most representative pieces of lapidary coming from prehistory, the Dacian era and the Roman period, which are in the patrimony of the institution at the foot of the fortress. It is worth mentioning that here is housed the largest collection of Roman statues for women and men in the country.
The representatives of the museum managed to arrange behind the building, from where one can admire the Deva Fortress, one of the most interesting exhibitions of the museum, which was inaugurated in 2012. It contains thousands of stone objects, discovered over the years in the territory of Hunedoara County.
Thus, for several tens of minutes, the “Lapidariu” collection leads you in several worlds, in different forms: from the daily life of the Dacians and the Romans, to the life of the military, through to the last funeral symbols with over 2,000 years.
Within this exhibition was reconstructed an assembly of menhirs, on a smaller scale, whose functionality seems to be similar to that of the megaliths at Stonehenge in the UK or Carnac in France. Among these objects, there are four megalithic pieces, three of them being discovered in 1881, in the area of Baia de Criș and Țebea. The specialists say that these objects were, most likely, funerary stones, from the Bronze Age, being less commonly found in Romania.
Also exhibited here are objects discovered after the archaeological excavations in the Orăștiei Mountains, in the area of the Dacian fortresses. More precisely, it is about blocks with cartridges and letters or with groups of Greek letters, which could mean that the Greeks and Romanians could have coordinated the construction of the Dacian fortresses.
In the exhibition in the courtyard of the Magna Curia Palace, there are also exhibited objects that belonged to the Romans, discovered on the site of Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa, such as the inscriptions and reliefs in marble, a mythical sheet, on which is represented the Iranian god Mithras killing a bull. Also, there is exhibited an unique inscription in the Latin and Greek languages, which was discovered in Germisara, in Geoagiu Băi.
Even the military life has its corner in this exhibition. This is represented, among others, by military statues, but also by funeral monuments, most probably made in their honor.
Some stone objects from the category of funerary art, representing stars, a funeral lion, even a sarcophagus with the reconstruction of a female tomb, discovered in Micia are exhibited here.
There are thousands of stone objects that have been waiting for hundreds, even thousands of years to be rediscovered and rendered to people who long for knowing the past and who have learned the techniques used by Dacians or Romans to make certain objects.
– Summer Program: Tuesday – Sunday: 10am – 6pm (ticket office closes at 5:30 pm)
– Winter program: Tuesday – Sunday: 09:00 – 17:00 (ticket office closes at 4:30 pm)
The museum is closed every Monday.