First Natalia Sicard’s Museum was opened in Moldova in the year 1876 in Vadul-lui-Voda resort settlement close to Chisinau. The museum exhibited a rich collection of antique items from Egypt, Italy, Greece and other countries.
In 1880s Ion Suruceanu, scientist acclaimed worldwide, established Pont Scythian’s Museum in Chisinau. The collection of this museum was replenished with exhibits from the deposits of Natalia Sicard. By the turn to ХХ century, Ion Suruceanu’s and Natalia Sicard’s Museums were abolished. In the year 1889 Bessarabia’s Zemstvo Museum was established on the basis of Agricultural and Industrial Fair in Chisinau. In the year 1905 it moved into a building which was for the first time constructed especially to host the museum. The museum has been operating in the same building till nowadays at the address: 82 Kogalniceanu Street, Chisinau. Just the name has changed: now this is National Museum of Nature and Ethnography. Of interest are not only the unique exhibits collected more than 100 years back by scientist Osterman, but also the building as architectural monument (architect V. Tiganco).
Nowadays dozens of museums both private and national are opened in Moldova. Almost every region hosts a proper museum dedicated to the history of place and customs of its inhabitants. Village museums have been established either. While in the places that have seen famous personalities born and grown up, museums are opened in reconstructed houses and estates to introduce distinguished personalities of our epoch. Foreign visitors may feel interest both about remarkable museums as National Museum of Archaeology and History and Art Museum, as well as small yet original exhibitions as Fire’s Brigade Museum, Customs’ Museum, Museum-Estate of A. Donici, A. Pushkin and many others.
Museums of Moldova are a way to get familiar with the nation residing in this country, to introduce its history, culture, crafts etc.
National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History
The oldest museum in Moldova was founded in October 1889 still by Baron A. Stuard. Museum building was built in 1905 in an oriental
style, making it a unique building of its kind in Moldova. It is known for rich collections of geological, paleontological, zoological, entomological, archaeological, ethnographic and numismatic.
National Museum of Archeology and History of Moldova
Opened in 1987, within the rebuilt premises of the former Regional High School, the museum preserves and manages over 263 thousand exhibits, including over 165 thousand original pieces of national heritage. The core of the institution is represented by its Sections of Archeology and Ancient History, Medieval History, History of Bessarabia, Contemporary History and Science Thesaurus.
National Fine Arts Museum of Moldova
Located in central Chisinau, the National Fine Arts Museum of Moldova displays impressive art collections from local and European artists. It has more than 30,000 exhibits arranged within five galleries: Medieval and creative folk, Bessarabian, contemporary Russian, Western and Eastern European, and set design and decorative-applied arts. The museum also holds a beautiful collection of Orthodox icons. It was founded in 1939 by sculptor Alexandru Plamadeala who selected 160 works of Bessarabian and Romanian artists to establish the Picture Gallery of Chisinau, the predecessor of the fine arts museum. The Gallery’s first director was Auguste Baillayre, painter аnd professor at Ecolle de Belle Arte оf Chişinău. Unfortunately, during World War II the Gallery’s initial collection was lost. In 1944, the museum was reestablished. The museum building is a former middle school for girls. The building was designed by famed architect Alexander Bernardazzi.
Alexander Pushkin Museum-House (Chisinau)
The Alexander Pushkin House and Museum is an important cultural monument in Chisinau. It is located several blocks northeast of the central parks, housed in a cottage where Russian poet Alexandr Pushkin (1799-1837) spent three years in exile between 1820 and 1823. It was here that he wrote The Prisoner of the Caucasus and other classics. The complex is comprised of four buildings. The one with the A.S. Pushkin museum is the oldest.
Alexandru Donici Museum-House (Donici Village)
At about 30 km from town Orhei (40 kmnorth of Chisinau), in a picturesque forest area is located the village Donici (formerly Bezen), where Alexandru Donici, the great Moldovan fabulist, a classic of Romanian literature was born. In 1976 the family mansion museum Donici is open, exhibiting works to reflect the life and work of the fabulist. The house is located in the middle of a small square, and there is a small stylized church of the Donici family in the area.
Alexei Mateevici Museum-House (Zaim Village)
The house was built by the priest Mihail Mateevici. Here, Mateevici family lived between 1893 and 1907. Visitors can admire the six halls of the museum, a great variety of original creations. The core heritage and the reserve part number over 7,000 exhibits, including 7 paintings, 4 sculptures, 132 household items, 510 photos, over 100 documents, more than 4000 epoch literature and a collection of publishable materials etc.
Ralli Manor (Dolna village)
It Dates back to the early nineteenth century and it belonged to the Ralli family. It has a traditional architecture and it is known for the fact that it was often visited by the Russian poet A. S. Pushkin, between 1820-1823, during his exile in Bessarabia. In 1946, the mansion was turned into a museum, that later becamen a branch of the museum "A. S. Pushkin "from Chisinau. In the 70s of the twentieth century it is reconstructed. Most museum exhibits are brought to St. Petersburg and Chisinau. Since 1980 Puskin's poem is celebrated in Dolna. Here takes place the annual festival, held on the first Sunday of June, since Pushkin's birthday is on June 6, attracting many admirers of the poet's creation. The estate has been restored in early 2000.
Manor Manuc-Bei (Hincesti town)
Manor Manuc-Bei in Hincesti, is located about 40 km west of Chisinau. Prince Manuk Bay (Mirzoyan), whose family owned the estate is a remarkable figure. He was a renowned diplomat, and with his assistance in his palace in Bucharest the Russian-Ottoman peace treaty in 1812 was signed, according to which Basarabia fell under the protectorate of Russia. In addition, he laid the foundation for the production of Moldovan wines on French technology. His descendants built winery on the estate and transferred the local wine production on industrial basis. The factory still exists, though, now it is a large modern enterprise - "Vitis Hancesti" (Vitis Hincesti), which produces high-quality wines. The actual house is a real castle in the French style, with a winter garden, guard towers and a park - built in the second half of XIX century based on the project of Alexander Bernardazzi, and for decades was the estate of family Mirzoyan, descendants of Manuc-Bei.
The Gagauz National Museum of History and Ethnography (Besalma village)
Founded in September 1966, the museum portrays the history, culture, and daily life of the Gagauz from ancient to modern times. It has more than 6,000 artifacts, including works of renowned writers, poets, and artists from Gagauzia. Some of the most valuable items in the museum are a collection of original films produced during the Gagauzian colonization of the Bugeac steppe. You can see these films in the small cinema within the museum. Since 1988 the museum has been named after its founder Cara D. Ciobanu, a writer and researcher of Gagauz origin who spent his life safeguarding Gagauz culture. The local museum guides are the children of the founder D. Cara-Ciobanu, who will tell you with much passion about this small nation in the south of Moldova.
‘‘C. Brancusi’’ Gallery of Moldovan Artist Union
Moldovan and foreigh artists present theirachievement at the gallery “C. Brancusi”. The collectors and amateurs of art visit local galleries, admire the exhibits and fill up their own collections. Foreign collectors visit the Republic of Moldova very often for paintings of talented Moldovan painters - which arenot very expensive, but corresponds to the highest requirements. Every picture can be a nice souvenir or gift for your relatives.