Museum of Ethnography and History

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The beginnings of the Museum of Vişeu de Sus are related to the first collections of ethnographic objects, around the year 1970, in the local general schools and high school, where a small museum was opened in a classroom. Starting from this collection, a small museum was opened under the protection of the Museum of Sighetu Marmaţiei which did not survive the harsh communist period of 1985-1989. The building becomes a relict and it was eventually given and most of the exhibits were lost. After the revolution the local community succeeded in re-opening the museum in 2001 and the building was renovated. The next step was completing the collections, restoring the old objects and buyin...g or receiving new ones as donations. On the 1st December 2003 the Museum of History and Ethnography of Vişeu de Sus was opened for the public. The present building of the Museum belonged to a German family. It turned into a museum in 2003 by adding a new storey to it. On the ground floor there is a 40 sq.m. room dedicated to the History Department, offices and an exhibition room of 30 sq.m., as well as a storage room for the objects of the Museum. On the first floor there is a 70 sq.m. room dedicated to the Ethnography Department, a 20 sq.m. room for cult objects, a 20 sq.m. restoration laboratory, a 10 sq.m. office and a toilet, as well as a 30 sq.m. terrace for bigger objects on display. The History Department is hosted by one room where objects and pictures (reproductions of documents and photographs) are displayed in five show cases and nine glass panels presenting the local history. The exhibition includes: archaeological pieces (flint tools, axes and bronze bracelets, ceramic fragments from the Iron Age and Mediaeval Age); a quote from the Royal Diploma of King Ludovic I of Hungary from the 2nd of February 1365 attesting the existence of Cuhea domain and the two "Vişaie"; Roman, Polish, Austrian and Romanian coins; documents proving the existence of a German element in Vişeu - a fragment from the baptism register of Roman Catholic Church, where are attested the first births of German children (1790), a German travelling chest; documents of noble families from Vişeu and other villages; documents of the Great Union from the 1st December 1918 and pictures with local delegates that took part in the Assembly from Alba Iulia; images from the town and Vaser Valley in the period between the two World Wars; local personalities, cultural and religious life; images of ethnics from the town (pictures taken in the Orsk prison camp in the Ural mountains where 86 Germans from Vişeu were deported between 1945-1949). The Ethnography Department hosted in two rooms - In the first room the occupations of the local people are illustrated with old pictures and wooden objects: agriculture, shepherding, work in the woods, processing hemp and wool, popular art and pottery. In a closed show case are presented elements of popular clothing of different peoples that have lived here. Among the exhibits on display we mention: for agriculture: flail, pick to cut the bramble, wooden ploughs, yoke, primitive mill, bee hive, comb for blueberry, etc, for sheep herding: wooden buckets to keep water and milk, ladles, meddles, milk measuring, churning stick, etc, for work in the woods: pictures of raft sailing on Vasser Valley, Viseu, Tisa, and Iza rivers pike axe, etc, for domestic objects and popular art objects on display are made of wood, such as: different size mugs, bowls, pots, spoons, salt keepers, pepper pots, flasks, dowry chest, pictures of old houses, etc, for processing hemp and wool: a very important craft in the area; here we have spinning machine, spindles, etc. In the display of popular clothing there are ten mannequins (man-woman, bride-groom, boy-girl, German men-German woman, Hungarian men-Hungarian woman) wearing popular costumes. In the second room there are elements of cultural and religious life of the people where are exhibited glass icons, some of them being more than a century old, religious books printed in Blaj and in Bucharest between the 17th - 20th centuries, wooden icons, a roman-catholic crucifix made in 1912, a collection of 55 seal engravers and a series of costumes for Viflaim, (a procession part of the Christmas rituals).

Vişeu de Sus
Strada Libertăţii nr. 7
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Administrative subordination:
Vişeu de Sus City Council
Museum code:
Iuliu Copândean
Contact person:
Iuliu Copândean
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