An exhibition opens on October 31 at the Sofia Regional History Museum on the development of trade in the Bulgarian capital city from antiquity to the end of the 20th century.
The museum said that the exhibition shows the role of Sofia as a commercial centre of local, regional and national importance, as well as in the context of European history.
Since antiquity, trade relations have evolved in direct relation to the specific location of Sofia – at the crossroads from Western Europe to the Middle East and from the North to the Mediterranean Sea, the museum said.
An emphasis in the exhibition is the period after the Liberation from Ottoman rule to the end of the 1930s. By this time, Sofia was the capital of Bulgaria and had the leading role as an economic and trade centre.
After the Second World War and the coming of communist rule, trade was completely regulated by the state. There were periodic shortages of various goods, mainly mass-market ones, the museum said. Most goods on sale had been produced domestically, while there were imports from other countries in the socialist bloc. There was also a “second strand” of imports – through payments in dollars, from the countries on the other side of the Iron Curtain.
Trade is now fundamentally different, with globalisation taking the leading role, and cash payments being replaced by bank transfers, the museum said.