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The National Archaeological Museum

The National Archaeological Museum

2, Saborna Str.

The National Archaeological Museum

(Bulgarian: Национален археологически музей, Natsionalen arheologicheski muzey) is an archaeological museum in the centre of Sofia. . It occupies the building of the largest and oldest former Ottoman mosque in the city, Büyük camii (“Grand Mosque”), built around 1474 under Mehmed II. The museum was established as a separate entity in 1893 as the National Museum directed by Czech Václav Dobruský with its headquarters in the former mosque that previously housed the National Library between 1880 and 1893.

The museum was officially opened and inaugurated in 1905, as by then all archaeological exhibits previously kept all over the city were moved there,

Several additional halls and administrative buildings of the museum were constructed in the following years, which continues to use the historic stone building of the old mosque despite the often unfavourable conditions, notably the humidity in the summer. The museum has five exhibition halls: Central Hall, Prehistory, Middle Ages, Treasure, and a special temporary exhibition. It is managed by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

Currently the museum houses the largest numismatic collection in the country with over 300 000 items.

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The National Gallery for Foreign Art

The National Gallery for Foreign Art

1, Alexander Nevski Blvd.

The National Gallery for Foreign Art (Bulgarian: Национална галерия за чуждестранно изкуство, Natsionalna galeriya za chuzhdestranno izkustvo) of Bulgaria is a gallery located on St. Alexander Nevsky Square in Sofia. It serves as the country’s national institution for non-Bulgarian art. It is situated in the 19th-century Neoclassic edifice of the former Royal Printing Office.

The edifice of the NGFA was built between 1882 and 1884 during the rule of knyaz Alexander Battenberg to the designs of Austrian architect Friedrich Schwanberg and reconstructed after it suffered significant damage during the bombing of Sofia in World War II. The gallery itself was founded on 5 November 1985 as the art gallery of the Sts. Cyril and Methodius Foundation, its stock being later enlarged by donations, as well as by the addition of the National Art Gallery’s foreign art section.

A large portion of the donations were made through the “13th Centuries of Bulgarian Statehood” fund, established by Lyudmila Zhivkova in the 1980s. Gallery’s current look is thanks to the architect Nikola Nikolov.

The venue is situated in 20 halls with total exhibition area of 3 200 sq. m.

The gallery’s permanent exposition features European, Asian (Buddhist, Japanese and Indian) and African art, as well as separate contemporary art and engraving sections. It houses christian plastics stemming from Indian province Goa, tat could be found only in Portugal and the UK.

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The National Art Gallery

The National Art Gallery

1, Knyaz Al. Batenberg sq.

The National Art Gallery (Bulgarian: Национална художествена галерия, Natsionalna hudozhestvena galeriya) is Bulgaria’s national gallery and houses over 50,000 pieces of Bulgarian art. It is located on Battenberg Square in the capital city of Sofia, occupying most of the historic and imposing edifice of the former royal palace of Bulgaria, having been established in 1934 and moved to the palace in 1946, after the abolition of the monarchy.

The National Art Gallery houses not only examples of contemporary and National Revival art, but also the country’s largest collection of medieval paintings, including more than four thousand icons.


Museum with Bulgarian National Bank

Museum with Bulgarian National Bank

1, Knyaz Alexander sq.

Established in 1879, the Bulgarian National Bank soon became the pillar of the nation’s financial system.

The idea of a BNB museum dates back to the late 1920s. It was first tried, albeit partially, in 1969, when the Main Hall briefly hosted an exhibition of specially gathered coins and banknotes. Preparations for a permanent display to present valuable exhibits to the public began in 1991. From the subsequent year the collection of coins and banknotes began to be actively and regularly augmented.

The BNB Museum Collection was officially opened on 25 January 1999 г. as part of celebrations to commemorate the Bank’s 120th anniversary. The permanent exhibition is divided into several sections. Covering an area of over 300 sq m (3,000 sq ft), it comprises a wealth of antique and medieval coins discovered in Bulgaria and dating from the Fifth Century BC until modernity. The exhibition also illustrates the coinage organized by the Ministry of Finance and the BNB, and covers BNB money issuing activities from 1885 onward.

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The National Museum of Natural History

The National Museum of Natural History

1, Tzar Osvoboditel Blvd.

The National Museum of Natural History

(Bulgarian: Национален природонаучен музей, Natsionalen prirodonauchen muzey; abbreviated НПМ, NMNHS) of Bulgaria is a museum of natural history located in Sofia, on “Tzar Osvoboditel” str. next to the Russian church. Founded in 1889, it is affiliated with the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, and is the first and largest museum of this kind in the Balkans.

The museum’s collection includes over 400 stuffed mammals, over 1,200 species of birds, hundreds of thousands of insects and other invertebrate, as well as samples of about one quarter of the world’s mineral species.

Today’s National Museum of Natural History was founded in 1889 as the Natural History Museum of Knyaz Ferdinand of Bulgaria.


The National Church Museum of History and Archaeology

The National Church Museum of History and Archaeology

19, Sv. Nedelya Sq.

The National Church Museum of History and Archaeology is situated in the building of the Theological Faculty of Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski on St. Nedelya square in the center of Sofia.

The remarkable building was designed by Bulgarian and foreign architects and artists and was built in 1923. The museum was opened in the same year. During the bombing in the Second World War the building suffered great damage, but it was later restored.

The museum preserves more than 10,000 exhibits – icons, carvings, historical files, church plates, old books, etc. Visitors can see icons, made by masters of the Tryavna, Samokov, Debar and Bansko schools. Unique in their kind autographs are also exhibited, such as manuscripts of Neophyte Bozveli, Illarion Makariopolsky, Exarch Antim the 1st, Exarch Joseph the 1st, etc. Due to its exceptional value, exhibitions of the museum often visit various museums all over the world – Paris, Geneva, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Prague, Bratislava, etc.

The building of the Theological Faculty was declared a monument of architecture and art of national importance.

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The National Museum of Bulgarian literature

The National Museum of Bulgarian literature

139, Georgi S. Rakovski Str.

The National Museum of Bulgarian literature was created on 1 January 1976 to the Committee for Arts and Culture, in order “to search for, collect, preserve, study, publish and display materials and documentary monuments related to the overall history of Bulgarian literature from the founding of Bulgarian state until today and in the future “.

The museum has a literary archive and research group.

The Literary houses-museums in Sofia are branches in the structure of NMBL and fall under its methodological guidance.

By Order of the Council of Ministers № 22 from 03.12.1992, the name of the museum is amended in National Literary Museum.

Vasil Levski National Stadium

Vasil Levski National Stadium

Vasil Levski National Stadium was officially opened in 1953 and reconstructed in 1966 and 2002. The Bulgaria national football team’s home matches and the Bulgarian Cup finals are held at the venue, as well as athletics competitions. It was also used as the home venue for Levski Sofia’s Champions League games.

Prior to their demolition by the Communist authorities during the 1940s, two other stadiums stood on the ground where the current national stadium lies. One of those was Levski Sofia’s club stadium, called Levski Field (Bulgarian: Igrishte Levski, completed 1934), and the other – the Yunak Stadium (built 1928). The latter used to host national football team matches with its capacity of about 15,000 seats.

In 1998 reconstruction works start in order to meet UEFA’s requirements. In 1997 seats were pinned. The works were finished in 2002 before the game Bulgaria-Croatia, that was the official opening of the reconstructed venue. The new seat capacity is 43 340. The stadium is licensed by UEFA with four stars.

The stadium offers also judo, artistic gymnastics, basketball, boxing, aerobics, fencing and table tennis halls, as well as a general physical training hall, two conference halls and three restaurants.


The Museum of Physical Culture and Sport

The Museum of Physical Culture and Sport

38, Evlogi and Hristo Georgievi Blvd

The Museum of Physical Culture and Sport is housed in hall in the National Stadium Vasil Levski in Sofia. It was created in 1956 and was renovated in 2003. The first exposition was held in 1962.

The museum shows the facts of the history of Bulgarian sport and top scores of Bulgarian athletes. Exposures include many exhibits, photographs and facsimiles, including a copy of the first Bulgarian bicycle, motorcycles and personal prizes and medals of Bulgarian sportsmen and sportswomen, like Hrsto Stoichkov, Yordanka Blagoeva, Diana Yorgovs, Svetla Otzetova, Vesela Lecheva, Zdravka Yordanova etc.


The museum exhibition of Sofia University

The museum exhibition of Sofia University

15, Tzar Osvobodiyel Blvd.

The museum exhibition of Sofia University is situated in the premises beneath the rotunda in Block 6 in the Northern wing of the Sofia University, adapted to museum needs.

The whole exhibition covers a space of about 100 m2 in the main hall and 4 separate rooms. The exhibition is successfully enlarged by two smaller museum collections on archeology and ethnology, situated in two other separate rooms.