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Varna’s Museums

1. Archaeological Museum Varna


The beginning of Varna Archaeological Museum and its development is connected with the names of the two brothers Herman and Karel Škorpil, Czechs by origin.
The first exhibition of the Museum was officially opened in a room of the Girls’ High School on the 11th of June, 1906. Karel Škorpil was elected as director of the Museum and remained in that post till his death in 1944.
Since 3 March 1983, the Archaeological Museum Varna has been accommodated in the present building – the only one offering complete possibilities for exhibiting and preserving its riches.

The building comprises of a basement area and two floors. It nearly forms a complete square and includes a spacious inner yard. Some of the rooms and the corridors are decorated with wall paintings. A continuous corridor runs throughout the whole building, leading to the exhibition rooms. The exhibition area of the Museum is 2150 sq. m, not including the storerooms, the library and the Educational Children’s Museum.
Throughout its existence of over 120 years, archaeologists, members of the Varna Archaeological Museum and its employees have constantly carried out archaeological investigations and excavations on various sites all over Northeast Bulgaria. The Varna Archaeological Museum now holds over 100,000 various objects of the region's past epochs.

The total number of the exhibition rooms of the Archaeological Museum in Varna is 32. The permanent exhibitions, which are showed there are: “Prehistory”, “Antiquity”, “Middle Ages”, “Revival Iconography”. The oldest golden treasure is exhibit here as well. It is dated from 4000 years B.C. 




2. Navy Museum

The Varna’s Navy Museum is one of the symbols of the city. It is established in an elegant building not far from the sea. There is also an open-air exposition where authentic sea-going vessels are shown. The history of the Bulgarian navy and commercial fleet since 1878 is illustrated on an area of 416 sq.m. in different halls. The park occupying 3000 sq.m. shows diverse military equipment and machinery, the ship-museum “Drazki”, which is one of the most valuable exponent, coast artillery equipment, the Kor Karoly yacht on which the first Bulgarian sail around the earth was made. The museum houses an old collection of naval relics, mostly from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including model ships, uniforms and various ship fixtures. 

3. Park – Museum Vladislav Varnenchik


It was built in honour of the historical battle in 1444 when Czechs, Poles, Croatians, Hungarians and Bulgarians tried to resist the Turkish invasion in Europe.
The mausoleum was built in 1934 on the foundations of an ancient Thracian tomb.

There is a very old story about a historic event, dating back to the XV century. On November 10, 1444 a mixed Christian army, comprising of Hungarians, Polish, Czechs, papal knights, Bosnians, Croatians, Bulgarians, Romanians and Routines (Old Russians) fought a heavy battle near Varna against the Turks. Many lives were lost.  More than half of the soldiers from the united army, together with the king of Hungary and Poland Vladislav III Yagelo (Varnenchik) perished.  In memory of the people, who sacrificed their lives in the name of freedom, on the place of the heroic battle there was built the park-museum Vladislav Varnenchik. The museum is a memorial complex. Plenty of weapons and accoutrements are exhibited in its halls: armours, chain armours, helmets, swords, spears, halberds, arbalests, maces, shields, etc. In the park of the museum there is an original Thracian Tomb, dating back to the IV century A.D. and a mausoleum of King Vladislav Varnenchik.




4. Natural – Science Museum

The Varna’s Natural- Science museum displays species typical of the Bulgarian flora and fauna. It is located in the Sea Garden of the costal city. The museum studies and popularizes the Black Sea flora and fauna and the Bulgarian Black Sea coast as a whole. The exhibition is based on the evolution and follows it in three different sections: Geology, Vegetation and Animal world.

5. Ethnographic Museum Varna


The Ethnographic Museum of Varna was opened in 1974 in a restored National Revival house, built in 1860. The museum displays folk art, particularly costumes from the region of Varna and shows great diversity of styles. The museum reflects the rich material and cultural heritage of the local population during the second half of the XIX and the beginning of the XX century - catering, crafts, clothes, jewellery, ritual bread, "survachki" (special colour-folded sticks, decorated with popcorns, candies, ribbons, used by children on the first day of the New Year to tap neighbours on the back, wishing them good health, happiness, success in the new year). 




6.  Roman Terms

The Roman Terms are situated in the centre of the city. This is the biggest ancient, public building, found in Bulgaria so far.  The Roman Terms date back to the 3rd century. It is built on layers of stones and bricks, bound by a mixture of plaster and crumbled tiles and bricks. The walls are grouted with water resistant plaster, there are marble tiles on the floor and some of the premises were panelled in marble. In the 5th century the building was considerably extended and reconstructed due to the development of that part of the city. Nowadays it is a sight of tourist and archaeological interest.

7. Museum of the Bulgarian Revival


On 27 July Str. In Varna one can find an ancient building related to the cultural and social life of the Bulgarians during the Revival. There were located the school, the church, the library and the municipality of the town till 1878.
The school was established on August 12, 1860. It was situated in a private house, but on July 25, 1862 it was moved into a special built edifice. The two brothers Cyril and Methodius who written the Bulgarian-Slavic alphabet were its patrons. On February 14, 1865 a priest named Konstantin Danovski sanctified on the school’s ground floor the first Bulgarian church in the town. In 1866 an independent Girl’s high School opened in Varna, later it was moved into one of the central schools halls. In 1959 the edifice was transformed into a museum – the Museum of the Bulgarian Revival.On the first floor of the museum the visitors can see a restored classroom with sandy desks where the children have learned how to write. Thes orders of praise and the black boards of reprobation meant for the pupils excite interest. Тhe original blackboard with the alphabet has been preserved too. Nearby the classroom one can see the church “Saint Archangel Mihail” with some very interesting icons.On the second floor there is an exposition with some original manuscripts and ancient editions from the 18 th and the 19 th C. The engravings from the 19 th C, the lock of the city gates, as well as some antique weapons from the 18 th and the 19 th C. and burial finds of the perished in the Russian – Turkish war attract the attention. There is an exhibition ”Ancient Varna in pictures” who reveals the unique atmosphere of the town from the 19 th and the beginning of the 20 th century. 




8. Museum of Varna’s History

The building of the museum of Varna’s history was built in 1851 for a Belgian consulate. Later it was turned into a hotel. From the end of the 19 th century to 1929 it was used for a prison.
The Museum was established in 1969. Its new exposition was inaugurated on November 22, 1991, situated in three rooms and reveals the city development like a port, as well as cultural, commercial, industrial and medical centre during the period 1878-1939. On the first floor are displayed the main crafts typical for the region: cotton growing, metalwork, but also the construction of a new port, the development of the navigation and the shipbuilding, the first loom from 1902, а printing press from the end of the19 th C., documents and models of the first boats and ships.
А smithery, dressmaking and tailoring shop, shoemaker’s atelier, farm implements and machines are restored.  On the second floor is shown the transformation of Varna into an international resort and a summer capital of the Bulgarian culture. The cards, the beach articles, the old swimming suits are very interesting. There are exhibited original photos of ancient buildings, plans and maps of VArna , musical instuments, etc. One can be absorbed in the specific atmosphere of the city house and the life after the Liberation on the third floor. There are presented also a hotel room, an eating-house, a pastry shop, lawyer’s and insurance offices, a photographer’s atelier, the first bookshop in Varna.




9.  Museum of Medicine

The Museum of Medicine is the only one on the Balkan Peninsula. Medical plants and herbs are here on display, as well as clothing used in the medical profession from ancient times up till now. In another exhibition hall are shown more than 4000 old medical books.  

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