Muzeul de Speologie "Emil Racoviţă"

Speleology Museum "Emil Racoviţă"

Useful Information

Location: Str Sextil Puşcariu Nr. 8, Cluj.
(46.77115993088134, 23.58765803593513)
Open: All year Tue-Fri 12-16.
Fee: free.
Classification: SubterraneaCave and Karst Museum
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours:
Address: Muzeul de Speologie "Emil Racoviţă", Str Sextil Puşcariu Nr. 8, 400006 Cluj-Napoca, Tel: +40-264-430601, Tel: +40-264-591273. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1998 museum founded.
31-OCT-2003 new building inaugurated.


Emil Racoviţă monument in Cluj.

The collections with the remains of Emil Racoviţă were formerly exhibited at the Biology and Geology Institute at the University of Cluj. Now it has moved to a new building and is now open as Muzeul de Speologie "Emil Racoviţă" (Speleology Museum "Emil Racoviţă").

The building was used as a prison during the Middle Ages. The most famous inmate was Baba Novac (Starina Novak, Old Novak), a Serbian Hajduk who fought in many battles against the Turks invading Europe. He had a strong personality and military prowess, which made him the leader of an efficient guerilla force. But he was accused of treason by Giorgio Basta, a former ally who became a rival. He was imprisoned here and executed on 05-FEB-1601 by being burnt alive for 1.5 hours.

The museum shows primarly the remains of the work of Emil Racoviţă so it is not only named after him, it is also dedicated to him as the founder of the Romanian speleology. He even introduced the term in the language. But he was biospeleologist, and he found this term much too long so he decided to shorten biospeleology to biospeologie. As a result the science of speleology is called speologie in Romanian.

The museum exhibits a notebook with notes he made during the time he studied at the Sorbonne University in Paris. Other items are from his participation on the Belgian expedition to Antarctica, like a Zeiss microscope and a Lihnof camera. A projector and slides were used by him when he held the general biology course at the University of Cluj. There are the original drawings which illustrated his scientific papers. And there are numerous office items and personal items too.