The Transylvanian Museum in Gundelsheim is the only museum outside of Romania that deals with the culture and history of the Transylvanian Saxons in the context of their multi-ethnic and multi-religious environment.
A selection of its extremely huge collection (more than 19,000 objects) is shown in a permanent exhibition over 500 m² on the first floor of the building. Seven themes serve as examples of Transylvania’s colourful history and multi-faceted culture, from the Middle Ages to the present. Special emphasis is placed on explaining Transylvania’s cultural history in a European context and the very specific identity processes and social orders in a multi-ethnic environment. By demonstrating the traditional social order in Transylvania that was characterised by collaboration, the museum may be the inspiration for a culture of democratic cooperation and tolerance in a united Europe.
Special exhibitions are held on the museum’s upper floor several times a year. This upper floor covers a space of approximately 100 m². It is also home to a Graphic Cabinet and a study collection that deals with Transylvanian textiles, pottery and important gold and silversmithing works from the region.
During the fifty years of its existence, more than 500,000 visitors have visited the museum. Just as many people have been to see the special exhibitions organised by the Transylvanian Museum in Transylvania, in other European countries (France, Austria, Hungary) and in cooperation projects with other museums in Germany that are also sponsored by the federal government. For decades there have been science collaborations with museums in Transylvania, for example the ASTRA National Museum and the Brukenthal Museum in Sibiu, and the art museum in Braşov. These cooperations have continued and been extended and have resulted in numerous scientific publications.