Bulgarian National Art Gallery: Contemporary art in a royal palace

History of the Bulgarian National Art Gallery

Bulgarian National Art Gallery (Национална художествена галерия) is located on Battenberg square in Sofia. It is housed in a former royal palace, built after Bulgaria’s proclamation of independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1878. The construction started in 1880 during the reign of Prince Alexander of Battenberg, first monarch of Bulgaria. The palace was officially inaugurated in 1882. Ballrooms, a throne hall, a dining room and a winter conservatory were situated on the second floor of the palace. The first floor was occupied with chambers of officers on duty and administrative cabinets. The palace was extended during the reign of Tsar Ferdinand I of Bulgaria. The east wing of the building was added, where the apartments of the royal family were. After 1944 the palace was used as headquarters by the government.

The Bulgarian National Art Gallery is established in 1934 and since 1946 it is housed in the palace. The gallery houses a great collection of contemporary Bulgarian art from the period 1878-1990. The collection contains more than 30 000 masterpieces of paintings, sculptures and prints.

Tips for visiting the Bulgarian National Art Gallery

There are different expositions by various artists regularly organized in the museum. Sometimes almost the whole museum is occupied by the current expositions. This was the case during my visit – an exhibition of the French sculptor Rodin. There was almost no Bulgarian art, so before going check out here the current expositions to see if they will be interesting for you.

Useful information
Address: 1, Prince Alexander I Sqr, Sofia 1000
Access: Metro station Serdika (Сердика) – line 1,2
Opening hours:
Monday: Closed
From Tuesday to Sunday: 10:00 AM – 06:00 PM
Admission: 6 BGN
Web site: info

Bulgarian National Art gallery

Bulgarian National Art gallery

Have you visited the Bulgarian National Art Gallery? Share your impressions in the comments section below.

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