National Museum of History, Sofia
Built by the Communist dictator Todor Zhivkov, the building alone is worth the journey: A fabulous brooding presence at the foot of Vitosha, the "Palace" (it has no bedrooms; only huge entrance areas and massive meeting halls) has a wealth of '70s design detailing, and clearly no expense was spared in ensuring that the proportions suitably awed and intimidated all who came to seek an audience. The massive collection is no less impressive; the most interesting offerings are displayed on the halls on the second floor, dating from "Prehistory: 6th to 2nd millennia B.C." (Hall 1) and "Bulgarian lands from the end 6th century B.C. to 6th century A.D." On the third floor you'll find the slightly dull and badly labeled "Third Bulgarian Kingdom 1878-1946" in Hall 5, and various temporary exhibitions in the remainder. If you're pushed for time, head straight for Hall 2 to view the Thracian-era armor and jewelry, the biggest display outside Varna's Archaeological Museum. Then take a look in Hall 3, if only to admire its magnificent ceiling and views of the overgrown yet stylized gardens that flow into the mountain wilderness.
More than 650 000 exhibits and culture monuments the National museum of history is one of the biggest museums on the Balkan peninsula.
For the current schedule of the exhibitions and for working hours and how to get there, please visit the site of the museum.
Find pictures of the some exhibits in the travelogues on my Bulgarian page.
In 2000 the museum was moved in the first building of the former Boyana residency.
Behind the museum there is a very pleasant park.
A hint: there is a combined ticket for the National Museum of History and Boyana church - 12lv.
The National Museum of History in Sofia is one of the largest history museums on the Balkans with 650.000 objects and largest archaeological and historical archive. The Museum's collections are its greatest treasure. They contain material remains from ancient and mediaeval cultures in the Bulgarian Lands.
- Prehistoric cultures in Bulgaria
- Ancient Thrace - monuments and finds
- Macedonian and Hellenistic period
- Roman Empire period monuments from Thrace and Moesia
- Art and materials from the time -"Volkerwanderungs", 4th-6th centuries
- Byzantine Empire art and culture from Bulgaria
- First and Second Bulgarian Kingdom culture
- Ottoman rule of Bulgarian lands - materials
- Bulgarian National Revival culture
- Modern Bulgarian history
You'd be well advised to visit the National History Museum in Boyana. It is an accessible and comprehensive exhibit of local history since pre-historic times, and Bulgarian history since the establishment of the First Bulgarian Kingdom in 681.
National History Museum
This is the biggest museum who can give you a full notion of Bulgarian history, the people who have passed through the country from Thracians through Greeks, Romans and Turks, and a closer look at the life of the Bulgarians themselves in recent centuries. You can see lots of things here - relicts from the earliest period up to the Middle ages, gold and silver treasures, old Christian books, ornaments and archeological remains. Also the rich collection of the museum features interesting examples of craft’s pieces of work, traditional Bulgarian costumes, carpets, embroidery, textile etc. from the Bulgarian Revival, information about Bulgarian customs and traditions.
Did you know that:One of the traditional Bulgarian holidays celebrated during the first half of February and very popular among all the lovers of the good wine is 'Trifon Zarezan'. On Winegrower's Day, the vines are pruned and sprinkled with wine throughout the country. Ritual songs and dances are performed around the abundant spread, with wishes for a plentiful harvest. In some regions, a 'Wine King' is chosen - he is crowned with a wreath of winetwigs
I snatched a paltry hour at this museum, and regretted that I hadn't had more time. There are lots of well-presented exhibits and although the bulk of information is in Bulgarian, there is a enough in English to get the gist.
As for the photo, I just loved the clouds rolling down the mountain...
1 Nov - 30 Apr (winter): 9.30 AM - 17.15 PM EET (GMT+2)
1 May - 31 Oct (summer): 10.30 AM - 18.15 PM
Closed on national holidays - 1 Jan, 3 Mar, 24 May, 6 Sep, 24 Dec.
Tickets: 0.80 BGN (Adults); 0.30 BGN (Children under 18 years, soldiers and retired people)
Foreigners: 4 BGN (4 DEM)
Thursdays and on the International Day of Museums (18 May): free.
Guided tours in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Hungarian and Russian: 10 BGN.
Working hours: 9:30 - 18:00, Monday - free of charge
Well, this one is a Must if you want to know something more not only about Bulgaria but also about the region. Their collections start from VI century BC.
The National History Museum in Boyana - this is a picture of it from the back of the ticket. Believe me, it looks the same in real like, except it's grey and brown, like all other ex-commie buildings.
Just take a look at this thing - it's got former 'Warsaw Pact' vibes written all over it. Once the Communist Party villa in the Sofia suburbs, today this building is home to one of the finest national history musuems in Eastern Europe. Or it could just be that our guide, Pieter, was FANTASTIC.
This is the national History museum. At the back side of the building there is the national court of justice.