The Astra Museum of Traditional Folk Civilization – the second largest open-air museum in Europe
The Astra Museum of Traditional Folk Civilization in Sibiu, part of ‘Astra’ National Museum Complex is the largest open-air museum in Romania and the second largest in Europe.
The Open-air Museum, one of the main sights in Sibiu, functions from 1963 and is located in Dumbrava Forest (‘Dumbrava Sibiului’), 4 kilometers away from the city. The museum hosts over 400 monuments of folk architecture and technique as well as an impressive collection of ethnographic heritage objects. It covers 96 hectares, wherefrom 42 hectares are dedicated to the exhibitions that are enriched with at least four to five monuments every year.
300 buildings can be visited and over 15,000 traditional objects can be admired. In 1963, the hydraulic mill was the first monument to be brought in ‘Dumbrava Sibiului’. The collection has developed in the coming years and the museum opened for the public in 1967.In 1971 they completed the collection with farmhouses and artisan workshops and in 1989 they added the social monuments such as church, school, skittle alley, tavern, etc.
The exhibits are organized into thematic groups: food production and animal husbandry, means of transportation and manufacture of household objects. Next to the exhibitions the museum hosts many traditional events such as fairs, festivals, workshops, performances and more.
The ‘Astra’ National Museum Complex consists of the Dumbrava Sibiului Open-Air Museum, ‘Emil Sigerus’ Museum of Transylvanian Saxon Ethnography and Folk Art, ‘Franz Binder’ Universal Ethnography Museum, ‘Astra’ Transylvanian Culture Museum and the ‘Astra’ Film Studio.
The ASTRA Museum Complex in Sibiu had over 360,000 visitors in 2014, 60,000 of them watched at least one movie at the Astra Film Festival.