Altemberger House, which currently houses the History Museum, is considered the most important ensemble of civil gothic architecture of Transylvania.
The house was built at the end of the 15th century on the request of the mayor of Sibiu at the time, Thomas Altemberger, the construction team being led by the mason Andreas Lapicida.
The ensemble includes 10 wings, plus a tower of defence and it served as an office for the town’s city hall for a period of 400 years (until 1948), being also known as the Old City Hall.
The tower inside the building used to house the archives of the town and of the Saxon University during 1546 and 1923, which was subsequently moved to a new location on Arhivelor Street.
In 1984, the History Museum, which was active since 1959 at the ground-floor of Brukenthal Palace, moved to this building. With a history and architecture profile, the museum presents the local history, mock-ups, photocopies, cutting weapons, firearms, insignias, tombstones, treasure house and numismatic collection. The Latin inscription above the door reminds us of the visit of the Emperor Joseph the 2nd.
Due to the fact that the legendary founder of the city was named Hermann, the visitors are greeted in the patio of the museum by decorative figures, entitled Hermann’s, that illustrate the typologies of the townsfolk at the end of the 17th century: the healer, the knight, the banker, the butcher, the innkeeper, the infantry man, the student, the mayor and the minstrel. In the second patio, known as the Garden of the Martyrs, there are works of figurative sculpture, such as the four consoles of loggia representing the elegantly and meticulously executed portraits in stone of some men, decorating an area with elements of renaissance influence.