The Museum of Dacian and Roman Civilization is an institution located in the city of Deva, Hunedoara County.
The museum was founded in 1882 as the County Museum and hold relevant and significant archaeological collections from the land of Transylvania, such as numismatic, ethnographic and natural science exhibits. It is organized into three sections: history, natural sciences and art, being in the possession of cultural objects classified as national cultural heritage treasure.
The Museum of Dacian and Roman Civilization is situated in the Magna Curia Palace or Bethlen Castle, constructed in the 17th century, under the sovereignty of Prince Gabor Bethlen. Under Bethlen’s authority, Deva was named for a short tome the capital of Transylvania. The museum is placed at the foot of the citadel hill close to a beautiful park.
Magna Curia Palace is the oldest historic building in Deva. The edifice has a Baroque style and suffered several transformations during time. The last ones were made in first part of the 18th century. Initially, the Magna Curia Palace was built in Renaissance style in 1621 by Gabor Bethlen starting from the existing house built by Francisc Geszty, the Captain of the garrison of Deva’s Fortress, in 1582.
The museum houses collections of archaeological eras: Prehistoric, Dacian, Roman, Pre-Medieval and early medieval Numismatic collections of decorative art, ethnography (costumes, tools, pottery, religious icons on glass), collections of natural sciences (botany, paleontology and others) and a library with approximately 40,000 volumes. Extensive archaeological discoveries from the Orastie Mountains area are exhibited in the museum.
Also, the Museum of Dacian and Roman Civilization has an important collection of medieval medals, old Transylvanian coins, and first bills that existed on this territory. Visitors interested in ethnographic collections are invited to spend a beautiful afternoon in this place.
The Department of Natural Sciences is one of the most exciting places from all the territory of Romania, and was built in 1967. Here travelers can find paleontology collections, minerals, mammals, mollusks and further general information.
In the area was founded Sarmizegetusa Regia, the capital and the largest city of Roman Dacia. Documentary evidence of the city of Deva first appeared in 1269 when Stephen V, King of Hungary and Duke of Transylvania, mentioned “the royal castle of Deva” in a privilege-grant for the Count Chyl of Kelling Under Voivod John Hunyadi. Deva became an important military and administrative center, partially destroyed by the Ottoman Turks in 1550. After this event it was rebuilt and the fortress was extended.
The city of Deva has preserved the historical spirit of the Dacian times, and is worth visiting, being beautiful and interesting especially for history lovers. Corvin Castle is only 20 minutes away from Deva by car.