Bulgarian National Institute of Archaeology with Museum

Bulgarian National Institute of Archaeology with Museum

History of Bulgarian National Institute of Archaeology with Museum

Bulgarian National Institute of Archaeology with Museum (Национален археологически институт с музей) is located in the center of the city of Sofia. The museum occupies one of the oldest and the largest preserved buildings from the age of the Ottoman Dominion – Büyük Mosque. The mosque is built in the 15th century under the rule of Mehmed II. During the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878) the abandoned mosque was turned into a hospital and later into a library. The mosque houses the National Institute of Archaeology with Museum since its establishment in 1892. The museum was officially opened in 1905.

Exhibition

The Bulgarian National Institute of Archaeology with Museum has 4 halls, located on two floors.
Central hall – the exhibited artifacts in the hall date from the Late Bronze Age to the Late Middle Ages. There is a great variety of items from different cultures, which inhabited the region of Southeastern Europe (Thracian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Bulgarian and Ottoman).
Middle Ages Hall – the hall is located on the second floor and contains drawings, Christian icons and medieval books. On the way to the second floor, you will pass along a magnificent replica of the Madara Rider (Мадарски конник). The original one is situated 16km east of Shumen. It represents a unique 23m rock relief of a horseman, located on a vertical 100m high cliff. The Madara Rider dates back to 7th – 8th century A.D.
Vault – in this hall you will find treasures from the late Bronze Age to late Antiquity. The famous Valchitran and Lukovit treasures are displayed here.
Prehistory Hall – the collection contains items dating between 1 600 000 B.C. and 1 600 B.C. Here you can see tools, pottery, ritual objects and various findings from caves in the territory of Bulgaria.

Useful information 
Address: 2 Saborna Str, 1000 Sofia
Access:  Metro station Serdika (Сердика) – line 1,2
Opening hours:
From May to October
Every day: 10:00 AM – 06:00 PM
From November to April
Monday: Closed
From Tuesday to Sunday: 10:00 AM – 05:00 PM
Admission: 10 BGN (~5 EUR, ~6 USD)
Web site: http://naim.bg/en/home/

View of the first floor of the museum

View of the first floor of the museum

Columns with inscriptions

Columns with inscriptions

Deer-shaped figure from Early Iron Age, 10th – 6th century B.C.

Deer-shaped figure from Early Iron Age, 10th – 6th century B.C.

Part of the collection in the Central Hall

Part of the collection in the Central Hall

wooden bookshelf

View of the first floor with the replica of Madara Rider above the stairs

View of the first floor with the replica of Madara Rider above the stairs

golden bowls

Christian icon

Treasure from Valchitran, 2nd -1st  century B.C.

Treasure from Valchitran, 2nd -1st  century B.C.

Golden funeral mask, 5th B.C.

Golden funeral mask, 5th B.C.

Treasure from Plovdiv region, 4th century B.C.

Treasure from Plovdiv region, 4th century B.C.

Silver jewel from Vratsa region, last decades of the 4th century B.C.

Silver jewel from Vratsa region, last decades of the 4th century B.C.

Cave bear teeth

Cave bear teeth

Part of the collection in the Prehistory Hall

Part of the collection in the Prehistory Hall

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