National Museum of Old Maps and Books

Welcome to the National Museum of Maps and Old Books! This museum is housed in a 1920s building constructed with a style that blends architectural elements of Gothic inspiration - such as pointed arches - with those of Mediterranean influence, like the loggias reminiscent of 15th-century Venetian villas.

To signify the building's new purpose since 2003, the ceilings have been adorned with inspirational insights from mythology and astronomical maps, while stained glass windows showcase various heraldic and cartographic representations.

The museum's treasury boasts over 780 works spanning from the 16th to the 20th century. Among them, you'll discover maps delineating regions inhabited by various cultures and their ancestors, as well as continents across the globe, along with astronomical maps and city plans. Additionally, the museum's collection includes graphic works featuring landscapes, portraits, and traditional costumes.

Museum of Old Maps and Books Through History

Originally belonging to Professor Adrian Năstase's family, the primary collection was donated to the Romanian state in 2003, facilitated by the family's dedication. Since then, the museum's collection has expanded through additional donations of graphic works and maps.

From ancient environmental observations to the era of GPS and Google Maps, humanity has sought to depict the world they knew, desired to explore, or simply imagined. Through maps, people have charted, measured distances, and conveyed their understanding of borders - be they natural or artificial, subjective or objective, historical or current, imaginary or tangible, political or economic - while also highlighting ways to transcend these boundaries, whether through bridges, highways, partnerships, or shared memories and future aspirations.

As you journey through this museum, envision yourself traversing places you've visited or dream of visiting, reflecting on knowledge acquired, stories read, and contemplating the significance of modern mapping. Imagine the museum as a conduit to places that hold personal significance to you, inviting you to explore and discover anew.

What can you find at the National Museum of Old Maps and Books?

Antique Maps Collection: The museum boasts an extensive array of antique maps spanning centuries and continents. From beautifully embellished medieval maps depicting mythical creatures and unexplored lands to Renaissance-era maps showcasing the discoveries of explorers like Columbus and Magellan, each piece tells a story of geographical exploration and human curiosity. Visitors can marvel at the precision of cartographers from different epochs and gain insight into how the world was perceived and mapped throughout history.

Rare Books Collection: Wander through aisles lined with rare manuscripts and early printed books that offer a window into the intellectual and cultural heritage of past civilizations. The collection includes illuminated manuscripts adorned with intricate illustrations and gold leaf, first editions of seminal works by luminaries such as Galileo, Newton, and Gutenberg, and beautifully bound volumes showcasing the artistry of bookmaking through the ages. Whether you're interested in science, literature, or philosophy, there's a wealth of knowledge waiting to be discovered within the pages of these rare books.

Cartographic Instruments and Tools: Gain insight into the craftsmanship behind mapmaking with a display of antique cartographic instruments and tools. From astrolabes and compasses used by early navigators to brass dividers and drafting sets employed by skilled mapmakers, these artifacts offer a glimpse into the meticulous process of charting the unknown. Visitors can appreciate the ingenuity of these instruments and imagine the challenges faced by those who ventured into uncharted territories armed with little more than their wits and these essential tools.

Educational Workshops and Demonstrations: In addition to its impressive collections, the museum offers educational workshops and demonstrations designed to engage visitors of all ages. Learn about the history of cartography through interactive exhibits, attend lectures by renowned scholars, or participate in hands-on activities that bring the art of mapmaking to life. Whether you're a seasoned researcher or a curious novice, there's something for everyone to enjoy and learn from at the National Museum of Old Maps and Books.

Temporary Exhibitions and Special Events: Keep an eye out for temporary exhibitions and special events hosted by the museum throughout the year. From themed displays focusing on specific regions or periods in history to guest lectures by experts in the field, these events offer unique opportunities to delve deeper into the world of old maps and books. Whether you're interested in a particular aspect of cartography or simply looking to broaden your horizons, these exhibitions and events provide enriching experiences for visitors of all backgrounds.

Opening hours:

Monday: Closed

Tuesday: Closed

Wednesday: 10:00 – 18:00

Thursday: 10:00 – 18:00

Friday: 10:00 – 18:00

Saturday: 10:00 – 18:00

Sunday: 10:00 – 18:00

Ticket Prices

If you plan to visit the National Museum of Old Maps and Books, you'll be happy to know that tickets for adults are only 16 lei (approx. 3 EUR), and students get in for just 4 lei (approx. 0.80 EUR)!

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