Archeological Museum, Sofia
National Archeological Museum is housed on former Buyuk Mosque(Big Mosque that dates from 1494!).
The collection goes from prehistoric to medieval times. Not very big in size for such a museum I had the time to read the (simple) signs (both in bulgarian and english) especially about items that were related with thracian, greek and roman period. The ground floor was mainly full of statues but the upper floor had more interesting items, the detailed solid gold burial mask (from thracian period) was impressive.
In other parts of the museum we saw a lot of coins, religious icons if you come from an orthodox country you wont be surprised but what we found amuzing was the weird security system, there was a sign that informs the visitors:step closer than 10 cm and an alarm will be activated!
What’s more there is also a mosaic from the floor of St Sofia church.
No pictures allowed inside (I took 2 but then the security came with no smile on his face but hopefully I just kept enjoying the museum)
The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday 10.00-18.00
The entrance fee is 10leva (about 5 euro) but free on last Sunday of every month
Archaeological Museum - I enjoyed visiting this museum because I enjoy looking at Greek and Roman remains. My husband on the other hand found it boring. It is an old style look only museum, not the more modern hands on activity style one.
The ground floor mainly consists of Greek and Roman statues. The only one to get my husband's interest was the statue of a woman with a mismatched head.
The most impressive exhibit in the museum is definitely the very detailed solid gold Thracian burial mask uncovered in 2004 and dating back to the 4th century. In the same upstairs room I rather liked the foot shaped Roman oil lamp, too.
There are a series of orthodox church paintings around the first floor gallery with warning signs that if you stepped too close an alarm would sound. That was certainly accurate as the extremely high piercing alarm went off several times during our visit.
The museum is housed in a restored 15th century mosque, just opposite the presidency.
Location Ul Saborna 2, open 10am to 17.30pm.
The changing of the guard is worth watching. It takes place outside the presidency building just across from the archaeolgy museum on the hour and lasts for a few minutes. There is lots of high kicking and marching involved in the ceremony.
The building dates back to 1494, it was originally the Grand Mosque. It was converted into the present museum in 1894. The interior space beneath nine domes contains an open-plan display of Greek, Roman and medieval objects. In the side rooms there are exhibits from Bulgaria's prehistoric, Thracian and medieval periods.
Touted as the oldest museum in Bulgaria located in the 'Bujuk', the big Mosque. It houses a vast and impressive collection that includes pre-historical monuments from Bulgarian soil, coins, and treasures from Antiquity to the Middle ages.
The Archological Museum is located across from the Presidential Palace in Ploshtad Knjaz Aleksander Batenberg. Its in a converted hammam (or at least thats what it looks like) and it is immediately recognizable by the numerous large artefacts scattered in front of the museum. This being Bulgaria, you'll notice that they also tacked on an outdoor bar onto the outside of the museum. Inside, the museum is quite large and provides the viewer with many, many artefacts stretching back to prehistoric times. You'll notice that this museum is part of the long battle between Bulgarians and Greeks to lay claim to the cultural heritage of Thrace and the eastern Balkans. Words like "hellenic", which would have been a dime a dozen in explanations next to similar artefacts in Greece, are scarce in this museum. The main room is filled with Greek/Thracian artefacts, including many statues. The upper balcony has many beautiful icons and a rather bizarre security system. The rooms on the first floor feature feature different artefacts, most of which are smaller items of craftsmenship: Mediaeval Bulgar weaponry and jewelery; Hellenistic jewellery; prehistoric pottery. One room, oddly enough, has a collection of both Ottoman knick-knacks and Japanese erotic drawings. No explanation is given as to why these go together.
The museum is housed in the former Buyuk Mosque, dating from 1494. It has a very good collection of Thracian, Roman and Bulgarian finds. There are also unique and valuable icons from all over Bulgaria. Definately a must-see. Inscriptions both in Bulgarian and English.
For me it was interesting to see objects, escavated from my mother's village Vladinia, Loveshka Oblast, and from my neighbourhood in Sofia....
Closed on Mondays in Winter, May to September open every day.
Admission 10 levs.
Both the Archeological, and the National history mueums are free every last Suday of the month.
working hours: november-april: 10-17, monday - closed; may-october: 10-18 everyday
taking pictures is not allowed !
languages: Bulgarian and English
- Vulchitrun Treasure: 13 golden objects, total 12,452 kg from the end of the 2nd / early 1st millennium B. Ch. (Since taking pictures is not allowed, the picture of Vulchitrun treasure is taken from internet, page)
- Lukovit Treasure: more than 200 silver, silver-gilted and iron objects from the 2nd half of the 4th century B. Ch.
- Nikolaevo treasure: from the middle of the 3rd century
---Lower Palaelitic finds in the Kozarnika cave that support the theory that the earliest colonization of the European continent was carried out through the Balkans. Also see the findings from Bacho Kiro cave, Temnata dupka cave, Musselievo, etc.
---a copy of Madara Horseman ( a monumental rock relief from the beginning of the 8th century / middle of the 9th century, a monument of the pre-Christian Bulgaria
Do not miss the cafe behind the museum.
Sofia's Archeological Museum is situated in an old mosque from 1496. It has a large collection of Thracian and Roman tombstones and the contents of the tombs from that era.
There's also lots of pottery and other artefacts from the Neolithic period to be found.
Opening times: Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm
Admission is 10 Leva for foreigners
The Archeological Museum at the Bulgarian Academy of Science just celebrated 100 years of existence. Located in the building of and old Mosque,within his walls you can see a full size reproduction of the Madara horseman, made at the beginning of the XX centrury ,when the sculpture was much more visible and not destroyed from erosion as the original is today.
You can see aswell different finds from Sofia and Bulgaria, starting from the prehistorical period ,stone age,bronze age, hellinistic period ,tombs , church wall paintings etc .