Sofia art gallery

Sofia art gallery

1, General Yosif Gurko Str.

On 22 October 1928 Gen. Vladimir Vazov, the Mayor of Sofia, signed a decree by virtue of which a museum with three sections – a museum, a library and an archive – was established. A picture gallery was to be part of the museum.A building that was subsequently pulled down near to where Graf Ignatieff Street and Rakovski Street intersect housed the library and the museum initially. In 1941 the library, museum, archive and gallery were moved to the building at 3 Banski Square. There the collection of pictures became the first permanent picture gallery in Bulgaria.
In 1948 part of the gallery’s exhibits were transferred to the newly established National Art Gallery. The Sofia Art Gallery (SAG) became an autonomous institution in 1952. In 1973 the Sofia Art Gallery moved to what used to be the city casino at 1 Gurko Street. The exposition was officially opened in 1977.
 Today the Sofia Art Gallery possesses some of the richest collections of Bulgarian art: 3500 paintings, 800 statues, 2800 graphics and drawings. The Соntemporary Art and Photography department was founded in 2004. With 1100 square meters of exposition space divided into four compartments the Gallery arranges some 30 exhibitions every year.
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The Ivan Vazov National Theatre

The Ivan Vazov National Theatre

5, Dyakon Ignatiy Str.

The Ivan Vazov National Theatre (Bulgarian: Народен театър „Иван Вазов“, Naroden teatar „Ivan Vazov“) is Bulgaria’s national theatre, as well as the oldest and most authoritative theatre in the country and one of the important landmarks of Sofia, . It is located in the centre of the city, with the facade facing the City Garden.

Founded in 1904 by the artists from the Salza i Smyah company, it was initially called simply the National Theatre, but before being named after the prominent writer Ivan Vazov it also bore the name of Krastyu Sarafov between 1952 and 1962. The theatre’s Neoclassical building, designed by famous Viennese theatre architects Hermann Helmer and Ferdinand Fellner, was finished in 1906 and opened on 3 January 1907. The building was extensively damaged by a fire in 1923 during an anniversary celebration, but was reconstructed in 1929 by German architect Martin Dülfer.

A theatrical school was established as part of the National Theatre in 1925. The bombing of Sofia in World War II caused considerable damage to the building, but it was reconstructed in 1945. Another reconstruction followed in 1971–1975, and a €100,000 restoration project was implemented in 2006. During the last reconstruction the facade and roof have been repaired.

The Ivan Vazov National Theatre has a well-equipped main stage with 750 seats, a smaller 120-seat stage and an additional 70-seat one on the fourth floor.

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The Bulgarian Army Theater

The Bulgarian Army Theater

The State Theatre of Satire “Aleko Konstantinov”

The State Theatre of Satire “Aleko Konstantinov”

8, Stefan Karadzha Str.

The State Theatre of Satire “Aleko Konstantinov” (Satire) was founded in 1957. The building is located on 26 “Stefan Karadza” str. and is also known as the Sofia Broadway. It has two halls, “Shtastlivetsa” and “Metodi Andonov.”


National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts

National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts

The NATFA edifice in Sofia, The Krastyo Sarafov National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts (Национална академия за театрално и филмово изкуство „Кръстьо Сарафов“, usually abbreviated as НАТФИЗ, NATFA) is an institution of higher education based in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. It is the first Bulgarian university in the field of theatre and film arts and was founded in 1948, being the only public and state-run institution of its kind in the country.

The academy, welcoming about 120 new students a year (including 20 international students), is located in three neighbouring buildings in the centre of Sofia, and includes a Training Drama Theatre (since 1957), a Training Puppet Theatre (since 1966), a cinema and video hall and an educational audiovisual centre, as well as an academical information centre that stores 60,000 volumes of Bulgarian and international literature.


The Bulgaria Concert Hall

The Bulgaria Concert Hall

1, Aksakov Str.

The Bulgaria Concert Hall was built by initiative of the Bulgaria Administrative Cooperative Saving Insurance Company as a part of a complex that was to include a hotel, too.

In 1931 a competition was announced for the design of the complex, which is adjacent to the Tsar Osvoboditel Boulevard. The competition was won by Architects Stancho Belkovski and Ivan Danchov, who designed the final project and assumed the implementation. The construction began in the spring of 1935 and the first parts that were built were the facility of Benkovski Street and the Bulgaria Hall.

The complex was completed in 1937 and its opening was on October 9.

The hall is equipped with paneling for good acoustics with the assistance of Hertz Institute for Acoustic Studies with the State Higher Technical School in Berlin.

In its initial design the Bulgaria concert hall consisted of the big hall with 1470 audience seats (two balconies and boxes) and a stage that could accommodate a 100-member orchestra and a 200-member choir. The chamber hall has 200 seats. An organ of the Frankfurt an Oder Zauer manufacturer was mounted on the stage. It has 4 manuals, 72 registers and 6000 pipes.

During the bombing on May 24, 1944 the hall was destroyed, together with the organ and the two grand pianos. It was reconstructed in 1949 and became the home for the performances of the Royal Military Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sasha Popov.


The Central Military Club

The Central Military Club

7, Tzar Osvoboditel Blvd

The Central Military Club (Bulgarian: Централен военен клуб, Tsentralen voenen klub) is a multi-purpose monument of culture building in the centre of Sofia, located on Tsar Osvoboditel Boulevard and Georgi Rakovski Street. The central military club is one of the cultural icons of Sofia. It hosted many evens like concerts, exhibitions, summits, theatre performances, ceremonies and others.

The foundation stone of the edifice was laid in 1895. The Military Club was designed by Czech architect Antonín Kolář in the Neo-Renaissance style and finished by Bulgarian architect Nikola Lazarov in 1907. The lot and the funding was provided by the Sofia Officers’ Assembly. A stone from the battlefield at Slivnitsa from the Serbo-Bulgarian War (1885-1886) was laid in the foundations.

The building has three stories and features a coffeehouse, an art gallery, a number of refined halls varying in size, as well as an imposing concert hall with 450 seats. Due to all this, the Central Military Club has always been an important cultural centre of the capital, once exhibiting works by Ivan Mrkvička, Vladimir Dimitrov, Jaroslav Věšín and providing these noted artists with studios. The concert hall has also seen performances by actors and opera singers like Krastyu Sarafov, Nicolai Ghiaurov, Feodor Chaliapin, Boris Christoff etc.

The club houses also Central army library with over 120 000 volumes. Some of its former names are Officer’s club, Military club, Central house of the army, Central house of the people’s army.

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City Library

City Library

4, Slaveikov sq.

With the proclamation of Sofia as capital of the new independent Bulgaria in 1879 starts the collection of literature in city organization, economy, book keeping, dictionaries, reference books etc in support of the municipality’s activities.

The first catalogue of the municipality’s book collection was made in 1898.

On 30.03.1944 the library suffers great losses by Allied bombing – the building on Banski Sq is destroyed. In 1945 the Library opens in a private building requisitioned by the state.

Since 1968 Sofia City Library is in the former municipality building on Gurko str. In 1987 this building was closed for renovation and never opened again.

October 24th 1928 is considered the birthdate of the Sofia city library. Back then it was established by the then-mayor gen. Vladimir Vazov. It had three departments – museum, library and archive. The book fund had 5311 volumes at the time.

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Central library with BAS

Central library with BAS

1, 15th November Str.

The establishment of the Central library with BAS dates back to 1869 as a book collection to the Bulgarian Book Club later named Bulgarian Academy of Science. It has been based in Braila, Romania. In 1873 was made the first catalog of the 2761 book volumes.

In 1879 th Library relocates to Sofia. Gradually the systematization and the computerization begins, and in 2003 was made an online catalog.

In 2004 the Library starts active collaboration with leading libraries in the country and abroad.

Currently the Library maintains the book stock and of the 49 special libraries of the Academy that counts 1 905 253 volumesл


The University Library at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”

The University Library at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”

15, Tzar Osvoboditel Blvd.

The University Library at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” is one of the biggest scientific libraries in Bulgaria; it offers services that combine the traditions and the modern technologies that made it a modern library and information, cultural and educational center. It was opened in 1888 at the same time as the Institute of Higher Education in Sofia and today it plays a major role in the development of Bulgarian Science and Education.

The first Rector of the University, Aleksander Teodorov-Balan put the question for immediate creating of a library, it had to satisfy the needs of lecturers and students of scientific literature.

It was designed by the famous architects Iv. Vasiliov and D. Tzolov. The new building of the University Library opened in December 1934 and it was declared a cultural monument.

The opening hours are Monday-Friday 8-20 h, Saturday 8-18h.

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