The National Museum of Romanian History is located in a beautiful turn of the century building which, before becoming a museum in 1971, was actually once the Post Office. Inside you can see weapons, archaeological artifacts and other diverse treasures from Romanian history. It's a shame that it's not more popular than it is. The museum is open Wednesday to Sunday, from 9-5:00 pm and admission is free on the last Friday of the month. In the basement, the National Treasury includes more than 2,000 objects of gold and silver embedded with precious stones. The highlight is the 4th-century Visigoth Golden Hen with Chicks, a priceless treasure discovered near Buzau. The hen is surrounded by hundreds of gorgeous golden chicks.
The National Museum of Art of Romania is located in the old Golescu Palace that, despite being small, was one of the most prestigious buildings in Bucharest. In its place, the royal palace was built by the French architect Gottereau. In 1927, a fire destroyed the palace and King Carol II built the new building in 1935. Following the exile of King Michael in 1948, the palace was nationalized and converted into a museum with sections focusing on 18th century Romanian art, modern art, and Eastern European and decorative art in general. There's a collection of priceless religious artifacts, and works by popular 20th century Romanian artists like Luchian and Cecilia Storck. The final part of the gallery houses the private collection of the king that was confiscated during the Communist era and features works by El Greco, Rubens, Rembrandt, Monet, Delacroix and Renoir.
The Museum of Art Collections, Museul Colectilor Arta in Romanian, is on the Victory Street, about a ten minute walk from the Victory Square metro stop. Besides the museum, the beautiful Romanit Palace is also interesting - a construction that began in the early nineteenth century, and was expanded and finished in 1840. It was built by a Greek millionaire named Grigore Romani, and is one of the most luxurious buildings on the street - which is quite a challenge, because the richest Romanian families all had beautiful mansions here. The Romanit Palace had a fine reputation in Romanian high society, known for the splendour of its dances and receptions. The core of the museum comes from several private art collections, with samples of Eastern European and Romanian artists, but is worth visiting most of all to see the interior of the most beautiful house of the glorious Romanian era of the nineteenth century.
The Romanian Peasant Museum has been opened since 1990. It is a light, cheerful space, a far cry from the typical dusty grey museums that you see in Eastern Europe. It's a very comprehensive museum, paying tribute to the Romanian peasants, and the role they have played in the country's economy. Everyday utensils are presented in bright, lively rooms. At the entrance of the museum is a reconstruction of a village school. There was only one class for all ages and abilities, and the teacher would have to make do with the fact that parents might pull their children out of class to work in the field at any time. In the basement, there are everyday objects from the communist era. The museum received the European Museum of the Year award in 1996, for its quality and originality.