The Museum of the Banat is housed by the Huniade Castle, the oldest building inTimişoara, a 14th century Neo – Gothic castle. Here you can visit an enormous display of exhibits from the museum’s four sections: history, natural sciences, archaeology and the laboratory for restoration and conservation.
The museum was founded in 1872, after the establishment in the same year of the History and Archaeology Society in Banat. The first items that the museum owed then came from donations, archaeological diggings and acquisitions. Until 1877, when it was officially opened to the public, the museum had already been housed in various locations in Cenad and Timişoara. By the end of the 19th century, the Museum of the Banat owned impressive collections structured in the following sections: archaeology, old history, art, decorative art, natural sciences, a library and an archive. Most of these collections were destroyed during World War I by the Serbian troops and Magyar authorities, as well as during World War II by Soviet troops. It wasn’t until 1948 that the museum moved to the Huniade Castle and started a process of patrimonial enlargement.
In 2006, the art section moved to the Baroque Castle and became the autonomous Art Museum, while the ethnography section was transferred to the Village Museum. Nowadays, the Museum of the Banat has four sections: history, natural sciences, archaeology and the laboratory for restoration and conservation. The archaeology section exhibits items representing the period of time from the Neolithic to the medieval and pre-feudal period. In the history section, visitors will enjoy collections of coins, maps, weapons and gems, while the natural sciences section deals with mineralogy, the evolution of species, the evolution of humans and the flora and fauna of Banat. In the conservation and restoration laboratory, the museum’s staff concentrates on restoring old books, ceramics, wood, paintings and textiles.
At the moment, the museum is closed for renovations.