The national museum was stablished in 1983 when Moldova was part of the USSR and brought together several existing museums including the museum of military glory. It was renamed the National Museum of the History of Moldova in 1991. The original building was a boys’ school, which after the Second World War served as an army barracks and then as part of the Polytechnic Institute. The building was rendered unstable by an earthquake in 1977 and in 1979 it was decided to erect a new building which has some spectacular exhibition rooms amongst its twelve galleries. The museum was erected between 1980 and 1987 retaining its original frontage. Its displays illustrate the hole of the nation’s history from Palaeolithic times, through the centuries when Moldova stood on the Dacian frontier of the Roman Empire, and through a succession of subsequent occupations. The country’s history is reflected in the numismatic collection, which includes coins from the Greek, Dacian, Roman, Ottoman, and Holy Roman empires, as well as examples from Hungary and Poland. A large photographic collection records Moldovan history in more recent time. A spectacular diorama depicts the Iasi-Chişinău operation, a battle in the summer of 1944, which is illustrated by numerous artefacts recovered from the nearby battlefield.