Aircraft, regalia, tanks and weapons are just some of the artifacts that give an extensive insight into Romania’s often tumultuous military history.
A visit to the National Military Museum (Muzeul Militar National) is a fascinating walk through the colorful history of the Romanian military. The museum covers everything from the pre-Roman period to the communist dictatorship years and present-day Romania. Learn about the country’s most important battles and its fight for independence and freedom.
Before entering the building, notice the busts of former Romanian rulers such as Ferdinand I and Vlad the Impaler. Inside, the museum has a rotating collection of over 1 million artifacts set out in chronological order. Spot displays of battle flags, knights, armor, military uniforms and royal carriages. See a vast exhibit of weapons, including medieval spears, World War II firearms and a rifle given to Nicolae Ceaușescu by Queen Elizabeth II.
Find exhibits that illustrate Romania during the Dacian kingdom and under Roman, Bulgarian and Ottoman rule. Learn about the country’s involvement as an Allied force in World War I and its change of allegiance in World War II. Don’t miss the exhibit about the violent revolution of 1989, when communist leader Nicolae Ceaușescu was captured and executed.
In the museum’s rear courtyard is a magnificent collection of military artillery and vehicles including cannons, tanks used during the Cold War and rocket launchers, one of which is mounted on a train. At the aircraft hangar see a variety of helicopters and planes, including one designed by the famed engineer Aurel Vlaicu. One section is dedicated to Dumitru-Dorin Prunariu, the first Romanian to fly in space.
The museum is just a 10-minute walk from Bucharest’s main train station, Gara de Nord. Public buses and trams also stop a short walk from the museum’s entrance. Visit nearby attractions including the Bucharest Botanical Garden and Cişmigiu Garden.
The National Military Museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday and has an admission fee. Pay an extra fee if you want to take photographs. Ask at the reception area for a map with an overview of the various exhibit halls.