The museum in Constantza is the second as importance after the History Museum in Bucharest because of its archaeological heritage and it houses in its halls important exhibits that show a permanent habita-tion of Dobrogea from pre-historic times and up to the present. The building of the Communal Palace, the current home of the museum, whose headstone was laid in 1912 by the heir of the throne - Prince Ferdinand, was inaugurated in 1921. Built in neo-Romanian style, imposing through the richness of the ornaments and of the concrete stone girdle, it becomes, together with Ovid’s statue, a central place of the old town.
The permanent exhibition is structured chronologically and includes four sections: ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary history. The generous space of over 10,000 square meters is organised in 22 thematic rooms that comprise many exhibits with deep connection with the history of the city and of the navy. The coins, the weapons, the uniforms, the ship mocks or even the ships in natural size recreate the image of a long naval tradition on this land. Two of the oldest and most important exhibits are represented by a single hollowed trunk (a wooden canoe) from the 15th century 10m in length, and by the certificate of establishment of the Romanian fleet in 1793.
With a heritage of over 7,000 Romanian works of art, the museum represents a landmark on the cultural map of the city through the value and the importance of the exhibits. The basis of this museum were set in 1961 starting from the collection of the Pinacotheca of the City Hall that contained at that time a series of paintings and sculptures important as artistic value.
Situated in an emblematic building of the city - the Communal Palace, the museum surprises through the multitude of traditional handicraft exhibits. The building that hosts the museum was opened in 1896. The construction was initially built to serve as offices for the Communal Council. In 1954, the Post Office moved here and it was not until 1976 that the Folk Art Museum opened. On the inside, the monumental construction combines traditional elements of neo-Romanian architecture and religious motifs, the interior being dominated by the arched wooden staircase that makes the connection with the upper floor.
The sculptor Ion Jalea was born in 1887, graduated the Academy of Fine Arts from Bucharest and then followed courses in Paris where he was the disciple of Antoine Bourdelle. He is the author of many works spread on the entire territory of the country. His life’s history became dramatic after he lost his left hand in World War I but he continued to create works of art for over 50 years.
One of the most remarkable archaeological vestiges of the ancient town Tomis is the Roman Edifice with mosaic that had over 2,000 square meters of which, up to the present, 600 meters of mosaic were preserved. Dated to the period between the 4th and the 7th centuries, the Edifice is one of the biggest mosaics discovered on the entire territory of the former Roman Empire and offers a view over the importance of the trade carried out in the port of the ancient Tomis.