Located just across the street from the Victoria Palace in the Victoria Square, the museum is an attraction to all those who are interested in ancient history, from the beginning of the earth, through the era of the dinosaurs and into the age of the humans.
It was originally founded in 1834 and it was located inside the Sava National College. It wasn’t much of a museum back then, having more of an educational role, but under the care of its patrons, the number of collections grew to around 5000 zoological and mineral pieces in 1903. That was the year when it was decided that a new building should house the collections, one built specifically to house a museum. In 1906 the constructions were finished and the museum was opened for the general public.
The museum continued to grow under the careful supervision of Grigore Antipa, achieving european prestige. In the year 1933, the name of Grigore Antipa was officially attached to the museum’s name. With the start of 2nd World War, the museum had to deal not only with an earthquake in 1940, but also numerous bombardments by the allies forces between 1941 and 1944. But the hardest challenge for the building was the 1977 earthquake that registered 7.7 on the Richter scale. It destroyed part of the collection and the building was seriously affected. It was reopened after 8 months of hard work done by the employees to restore the collections.
But why is this a place to see ? Well, especially since it was fully restored and modernized in 2009, the museum is arranged in clearly defined sections of zoology, ecology, geology, paleontology and anthropology in a new set using digital sounds and images to fully immerse the visitors. On-scene labs are available where visitors can watch and even conduct experiments on various projects that are consistent with the museum’s activity and research. You can also attend various educational seminars that are scheduled every month on different topics.
Let's have a sneak peak inside shall we ?
In the main hallway, visitors are greeted by Credit: photo: www.antipa.rotwo gorillas in their natural size and posture as seen in nature. On the other side, two skeletons of the same species of gorillas are present and in the same posture.
The basement covers mainly geologicalCredit: photo: www.antipa.ro features, from the formation of the universe up to the formation of the earth, containing a full collection of minerals. It also depicts the formation of life on earth, depicting marine life and it’s species, both ancient and species that survived to this day. Early humans are also represented and for those who really want something cool, there’s a fully featured 11 meters-long cave that also contains the remains of a specimen from an extinct species of bears found in caves like the one depicted.
The main floor continues with marine lifeCredit: photo: www.antipa.ro and animals from prehistoric to present, including mammoths, dinosaurs, sharks, you name it, it’s there. This is where people will spend the most amount of time.
And last but not least, the last level of theCredit: photo: www.antipa.ro museum. Here you’ll find the main collection of birds of the museum. Out of the 9900 species catalogued in the world, the museum has 1100 of them.
The museum is open for visiting throughout the week and the visiting fees are moderate (about 5 dollars). If you want to take pictures it’ll cost you another 10 dollars. It’ll take you about 2 hours to see the whole place.
Tip: the building is located in the vicinity of other museums so if you want to go, make it a museum’s day – this way you can get to see more in one shot.