A Museum of the Rose, reportedly the only one of its kind in the world, opened in the central Bulgarian town of Kazanluk on June 5 2016.
Kazanluk is the centre of Bulgaria’s rose oil extraction industry. Bulgaria has a long-standing traditional place as a major supplier of rose oil to the world, notably the international perfume industry.
The opening ceremony was attended by Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, Regional Development Minister Lilyana Pavlova, Agriculture Minister Desislava Taneva, Tourism Minister Nikolina Angelkova and more than a dozen foreign ambassadors to Bulgaria.
The new museum, successor to a smaller Museum of the Rose built as an annexe to another museum in Kazanluk in the 1960s, cost about 1.4 million leva (about 700 000 euro), funded entirely from the state budget.
The new building is modern, multifunctional and has an area of 1200 sq m.
There is a circular ground display of 24 kinds of roses, a special room for the demonstration of the extraction of rose oil and a room for sampling scents. Other facilities at the Museum of the Rose include a conference room, exhibition area, multimedia room, storage facilities, a children’s playground and a panoramic café.
Visitors may learn about the history of the rose in Bulgaria from the Renaissance to the present day. Items on display include documents and other items related to the history of rose production in Bulgaria. In all, there are more than 1000 exhibits.
The oldest exhibit is from the distillery of the Shishkov family, one of the first and most famous producers of and traders in rose oil.
Construction of the museum was completed in just a year, to a design by Kazanluk architect Ivelin Nedyalkov.
Kazanluk’s “Valley of the Roses” is visited by about 220 000 tourists a year. The Festival of the Roses in June, a tradition dating back more than a century, is a calendar highlight for the town.
Tourism Minister Angelkova said that hopes were that the number of tourists visiting the Valley of the Roses would be even higher this year.
Market research had shown that the rose was the symbol most often associated with Bulgaria, she said. This was why her ministry sought to further promote the Rose Festival and the area’s attractions to foreign tourists.
One of the eight cultural and historical routes that the ministry had developed was focused on the Kazanluk area.
(Photos: Borissov’s Facebook page)