Sofia’s Archaeological Museum: The fascination is justified

Written by on May 1, 2017 in Leisure - Comments Off on Sofia’s Archaeological Museum: The fascination is justified

On Sunday, at the National Archaeological Museum in Sofia, countless visitors were staring at the Treasure of Nagyszentmiklós, as if it had been made of gold. Indeed, it is a golden treasure, which was lent to this museum by the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. It will be displayed here until July 9, 2017.

Everyone wanted to see The Treasure of Nagyszentmiklós. Photo by Imanuel Marcus.

The Treasure of Nagyszentmiklós was one of the highlights in the spring on 2017. Photo by Imanuel Marcus.

On every last Sunday of the month, admission is free. That is one reason why people were even waiting in line, in order to be able to see the exhibition “Bulgaria Gentiles: Power and Society”, which was opened recently, or that golden treasure found in the Habsburg Empire.

But, free admission or not, the fascination is more than justified.

A permanently exhibited item at Sofia’s Archaeological Museum. Photo by Imanuel Marcus.

It starts with the building itself. The National Archaeological Institute with Museum, which is the official name, is being accommodated in “Koca Mahmut Paşa Camii”, which is the oldest former Ottoman mosque in Sofia. It was completed in 1494 (no typo).

Ancient slabs with inscriptions, which other countries can only dream of, are placed around the museum, since there is not enough room for all of them.

The permanent exhibitions inside are sensational too. The Prehistory Hall downstairs offers a view at items of different kinds, many of which are 4,000 years old or even older. Most of them are findings from caves or those found on construction sites, during excavations. They include tools, pottery and ritual items.

The Archaeological Museum in Sofia. Photo by Imanuel Marcus.

In the Main Hall, on the first floor, visitors can take a glimpse at items from ancient Thrace and the Roman Empire. There is also a Medieval Section and the Treasury. The latter is where the valuable Treasure of Nagyszentmiklós from Vienna is being exhibited.

The museum was established in 1892, through a decree by the Czar. Lyudmil Vagalinski is the director.

The National Archaeological Institute with Museum in Sofia can be found here.

 

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About the Author

Imanuel Marcus is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe. He is German and lives in Sofia. Contact: imanuelmarcus (at) gmail.com