Archeological Museum, Varna
Varna's Archeological Museum has an amazing collection of artefacts from Varna's distant past. The oldest ever found items made out of gold are displayed here. They originate from a necropolis near the centre of Varna and are about 6000 years old. Apart from that there's a lot more gold to see from Thracian origins aswell as Greek and Roman ceramics and sculptures.
There's also a large collection of medieval icons on display.
The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm, Admission is 10 BGN.
From 20 of mai till the 20 september 2006 - the Varna museum , celebrating its 100th anniversary, will be hosting the biggest collection of Golden Thracian treasures found on our lands. Something not to be missed!!! Afterwards the collection will be sent to other museums throught the world to be admired by international public.
Varna's Archaeological Museum is housed in the city's former Girl's High School on Maria Luiza Blvd. The building is itself noteworthy, being a perfect example of the functional Neo- Renaissance style. The exhibits are presented in a logical timescale and the multi-lingual explanatory notes for each section are interestingly informative.
The museum presents Varna's history (known as "Odessos" during the Greek and Roman periods) from 6,000 BC by intelligent presentation of locally-discovered artifacts. All the expected museum stuff is here - weapons, jewellery, sculptures, pottery etc and the coin collection is particularly impressive (and displayed chronologically in such a manner as to allow the visitor to relate the city's developement in context with the region as a whole).
What makes the collection unique are the findings from the Varna Necropolis, dating from the 6th Millenium BC. These are some of the oldest pieces of evidence of human civilization ever found and add a bit of history to an era usually regarded as pre-history. The burial ground was discovered around the Varna Lakes in 1972 during commercial excavations. The subsequent archaeological work has yielded an amazing variety of artifacts showing that as far back as 6,000 BC there was an advanced metal-working and pottery-making culture in the area.
The Necropolis finds, as a whole, are of worldwide archaeological interest but it is the 3,000+ pieces of worked gold, weighing over 6 kg, found in the burial chambers that catches the general public's attention.
This is a fascinating, well laid out and educational museum but personally I thought the 10 leva entrance fee a little on the expensive side, especially since photos aren't allowed. By all accounts the washrooms are pretty good tho'!
Website has details of opening times etc and makes up to some extent for the prohibition against photography by providing a comprehensive selection of pics.
Varna Archeological Museum is one of my favourite museums. The rich history of the area (the Varna region has been inhabited since the Early Paleolithic Age, 100 000 years) is showcased here with interesting and well-organized exhibitions divided into sections: prehistoric, Thracian, Ancient Greek and Ancient Roman, Medieval Bulgarian and Byzantine Empires, the Ottoman ERA and the Bulgarian National Revival.
The museum is open in summer Tue-Sun 10-17 and in winter Tue-Sat 10-17 (2008).
ARCHEOLOGY MUSEUM: Greek, Thracian and Bulgarian artifacts; items excavated from Chalcolithic necropolis discovered on the outskirts of Varna in 1972; ancient funerary sculpture; also 19th century icons