The permanent exhibition of the History Museum is located in the building situated in Ştefan cel Mare street, no. 33 in Suceava. Built at the beginning of the 20th century, the building, historic monument preserves its facede almost unchanged. The interior underwent numerous changes in the course of time, especially since it became the headquarters of the History Museum. The construction which hosted the former Prefecture during the Austrian period has been transformed in order to be used as museum, the last changes being made between 2014 and 2016, within the European project A heritage building –a museum for the 3rd millenium.
The new permanent exhibition of the History Museum was inaugurated on the 31st of July 2016, in the same location, at the first floor, as the previous exhibition. The new presentation is based on the local history, reflected in the multiple archaeological discoveries made in the course of time, but also in the multiple events, which had as central evolution place, the present territory of Suceava county. The multiple exhibited heritage objects are explained within their historical context with the help of the touchscreens which exist in the entire exhibition, completing the knowledge of the visitors eager to find new information.
Although the basis of the permanent exhibition is the local history, this cannot be understood outside our national history and general European background: for over a century and a half Suceava has been the residence of Moldavia’s rulers. The loss of this statute, when the city of Iaşi becomes ”the new capital” lead to the fall of Suceava’s importance and to the damage of the existing monuments. The Austrian occupation meant the separation of the northern part of Moldavia from the history of this Romanian historical province. The union of Bukovina with Great Romania brought to other necessary changes for the consolidation of the new state. The two world wars, the communist regime meant hardships for the local population in this period.
The presentation of history in the permanent exhibition ends in the year 1989 with the anticommunist demonstrations carried at Suceava in December 1989.
The permanent exhibition of the History Museum is displayed cronologically, in 27 halls, from the oldest archaeological discoveries, dating from Lower Palaeolithic discovered at Ripiceni (Botoşani county) until the revolution of 1989. The largest part of the exhibition is owed to the archaeological discoveries, starting from hall no.1 until hall no.15, inclusively. The archaologists laid stress on events which took place over the history with the help of the most spectacular objects discovered, where each object may tell a story: ornaments, weapons, coins, vessels, archaeological textiles, etc.
The Princely Counsel Hall existed within the Princely Court of Suceava, after Petru I Muşat, Moldavia’s prince decided the settlement of the new capital here and built the princely residence. The reconstitution of this space of the highest representation was carried out with the help of several elements of medieval architecture from the 15th century discovered at Suceava: columns, capitals, keystones, balustrade, pavements. In this space took place the official meetings of the prince with those who held the most important leading positions, the high aristocrats of the Princely Counsel. Next to them there could also attend aristocrats without positions or older aristocrats, who didn’t have any titles, but who were appreciated for their experience and wisdom. Stephen the Great imposed for the first time the inclusion in the Princely Counsel of the burgraves of Moldavia’s fortresses – Suceava, Hotin, Neamţ, Soroca, Orhei, Cetatea Nouă, Chilia and Cetatea Albă (the last two until 1484). In the Princely Hall took place the appointment of the high aristocrats to the most important positions of the country. The most well-known aristocrats with positions for a long period of time during the reign of Stephen the Great were the High Chancellor Ion Tăutu, the High Treasurer Iuga and Luca Arbore – the Gatekeeper of the Princely Fortress of Suceava.
The Princely Counsel Hall (Throne Hall – former name) reconstructs a moment with symbolic diplomatic importance, where the representatives of six states with whom Moldavia had the most intense or the longest diplomatic and political connections are reunited in front of the prince Stephen the Great: Wallachia, Poland, Hungary, Venice, Kievan Russia and the Ottoman Empire. In 1476 arrived in Suceava the first diplomatic representative in Romanian Countries, Emanuele Gerrardo, messenger of the city –state Venice. The Princely Counsel Hall represents a faithful image of the external politics of Moldavia of that period, where peace is a short period of time between two wars and because of this reason, highly appreciated, being negotiated with Christian states or with Ottomans, Catholic princes and even with the Pope. Moldavia was at that time The Gate of Christianity, as the prince Stephen the Great officially said in 1475.
Situated in the basement of the History Museum, the halls hosting the treasure objects are rebuilt according to the initial plans, existing a splitting up which allows making the most of the pieces of small sizes.In the first hall there can be seen fragments of archaeological textiles discovered when researches were made at many churches in the Suceava city and county. The scarcity of these types of pieces is given by the specific climate of the region, where moisture causes the disappearance of the objects made of vegetal fibres.
In the following three halls there can be admired plenty of other pieces owed to the archaeological discoveries, presented in chronological order, starting with the oldest (Scythian wall lamps discovered at Cajvana, Suceava county and dating from the 6th century before Christ) and until the newest dated at the end of the 17th century (ring from the tomb of a woman discovered at Siret). We would also like to mention the discoveries made in the princely tombs of Saint Nicholas Church from Rădăuţi and those of the Church of Probota Monastery. Next to the archaeological discoveries there can be seen medals, decorations, ornament objects and weaponry dating from the 17-20th centuries.