The galleries and museums of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, are one of its biggest attractions. We don't want you to miss them if you visit the city. Therefore, we will show you those that stand out for their great interest and importance. Do you dare to know what they are?
1. Sofia Museums: National History MuseumNational History Museum - Guillaume Speurt / Flickr.com
We start with the National History Museum, one of the most important in the Balkans area. And is that It has funds of more than 700,000 pieces related to the origin and evolution of Bulgaria.
Yes, only a small part is exposed, distributed in different rooms. There are spaces dedicated to Prehistory, ancient Thracians, Greeks and Romans, medieval Bulgaria and Bulgaria in the Ottoman period.
One of the pieces most prominent is the sculpture of Mother Earth, dating from 6500 years ago and measures 14 centimeters. We must also mention the Panagyurishte Treasury, from the 3rd century BC; or the fresco of The final judgement, which represents the theme that indicates its name and comes from the seventeenth century.
The above is found on the first floor of the National History Museum. Meanwhile, on the ground floor there are shops where to buy some souvenir. Y on the second floor you will see everything related to the history of the country after the liberation of 1878, which includes typical costumes, crafts and temporary exhibitions.
2. National Art Gallery of BulgariaBulgarian National Art Gallery - MrPanyGoff / Wikimedia Commons
It is the main art space of Bulgaria. It is located in the building of the former royal palace of Sofia. It shows a dozen exhibitions dedicated to the great painters of the country, such as Vladimir Dimitrov-Maystora, Zlatyu Boyadzhiev, Sirak Skitnik, Nikolay Raynov and much more.
3. Museum of Socialist Art
The Museum of Socialist Art depends on the previous gallery. It is one of the youngest Sofia museums, because it opened in 2011.
It is dedicated to the socialist realism movement and collects about 150 pictorial and sculptural works created between 1944 and 1989. That is, they have their origin in the era of socialism.
Likewise, The institution has a garden where works related to important characters are exhibited, like Che Guevara or Lenin. There are also sculptures of soldiers, workers, farmers and intellectuals of the time that contributed to exalt the regime and its ideals.
4. Crypt of the cathedral of St. Alexander NevskiInterior of the cathedral - Jorge Láscar / Flickr.com
Alexander Nevski Cathedral is one of the most emblematic buildings in Sofia, as well as the main religious center of the city. To the left of the altar are the relics of the ruler of the Russian principality of Novgorod and saint of the Orthodox Church to which he owes his name.
The building also houses a museum of Bulgarian icons in the crypt of the temple. It is one of the largest collections of this type in Europe. All of this is part of the Bulgarian National Art Gallery, which we have already seen.
Among all the icons It is worth highlighting the oldest, a piece dating from the late fifteenth century. It was painted on wood and represents Jesus Pantocrator.
5. National Archaeological MuseumNational Archaeological Museum - damian entwistle / Flickr.com
The National Archaeological Museum, which occupies the building of an old Ottoman mosque, It has five exhibition halls. The main one houses Roman mosaics or graves. Two are dedicated to Prehistory and the Middle Ages. Another room is called Treasury, with Thracian objects. And the last one hosts temporary exhibitions.
6. National Museum of Military History
Of great interest is also the Museum of Military History. Display collections of weapons, flags, uniforms, military orders and cadres representing various battles. Since its opening in 1914 it has had several names and has been subordinate to different institutions. Today it depends on the Ministry of Defense.
7. Museum of EthnographyNational Museum of Ethnography- Ali Eminov / Flickr.com
It has a rich collection of objects linked to the popular culture and folklore of Bulgaria from the beginning of the 19th century to the present. Therefore, we can find from popular costumes to artisan objects, through tools typical of rural life.
As you see, Sofia's variety of museums is large. Therefore, if you visit the city, do not hesitate to spend some time to explore the ones that interest you most.