The National Historical Museum, nestled in the outskirts of Sofia, is Bulgaria’s largest museum.
Incepted on May 5th, 1973, in 2004, the museum was moved to the former residence of the last communist leader and dictator of Bulgaria (Todor Zhivkov) in the Boyana district. Currently, it keeps more than 650,000 items related to history, fine arts, archaeology, and ethnography, but around 10% of them are exhibited permanently.
Besides exhibitions and various collections of utmost significance, including the eminent Panagyurishte Golden Treasure, the museum is also comprised of a souvenir shop, a cloakroom, a library, and a buffet. The National Historical Museum has undertaken an expert conservation and restoration of historical monuments, expert valuation, investigations, and authenticity.
The museum’s collections incorporate materials stemming from Prehistory to modern times. Valuable exhibits demonstrate the preserved spirituality of the Bulgarians in the period of Ottoman domination (XIV-XIX c.), incl. dozens of outstanding works of fine arts and goldsmiths, church plates, tissues and manuscripts, and icons.
The Third Bulgarian Kingdom (1878-1946) is presented with original exhibits from the “royal collection” of the Bulgarian Coburg Gotha dynasty, with personal belongings of prominent Bulgarian politicians, cultural figures, and public figures.
There, the visitors can also find a rich ethnographic collection, comprising traditional clothing, ornaments, and uniforms from all over the country.
Around 160 contributors – historians, ethnographers, restorers, archaeologists, art historians, philologists, and technical support staff for the expositions – work in the museum at its five affiliates around Bulgaria. The museum also hosts the hugest Bulgarian Central Laboratory for the preservation and restoration of exhibits of all kinds of materials.