National Archaeological Museum, Sofia - Bulgaria 02.Nov.2022
The National Archaeological Museum is in the center of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. It occupies the building of the largest and oldest former Ottoman mosque in the city, originally known as Koca Mahmut Pasa Camii. The construction started in 1451 under grand vizier Veli Mahmud Pasha but due to his death in 1474, the mosque has been completed in 1494. The museum was established as a separate entity in 1893 as the National Museum directed by Czech Vaclav Dobrusky with its headquarters in the former mosque that previously housed the National Library between 1880 and 1893. The museum was officially opened and inaugurated in 1905, as by then all archaeological exhibits previously kept all over the city were moved there, in the presence of Knyaz Ferdinand of Bulgaria and Minister of Enlightenment Ivan Shishmanov. The museum has five exhibition halls: Central Hall, Prehistory, Middle Ages, Treasure, and a special temporary exhibition. It is managed by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
Prehistory Hall - located on the lower floor of the northern wing. It displays a collection of items dating from between 1,600,000 BC and 1,600 BC. The collection is chronologically displayed and includes various findings from caves around Bulgaria, tools of the earliest humans who inhabited its modern territory, drawings, simple pottery, ritual items, and many others. It subdivides into an Early, Middle, and Late Paleolithic collection, Neolithic collection, Chalcolithic collection, and Bronze Age.
Treasury - located in the eastern wing and displays grave inventory and other treasures from the late Bronze Age to late Antiquity. Two of the most well-known Bulgarian treasures are located here: the Valchitran and Lukovit Treasures.
Main Hall - located on the first floor of the main building. Hosts a collection of diverse items ranging from ancient Thrace, Greece, and Rome to the late Middle Ages.
Medieval Section - located on the second floor of the main building. Includes a gallery of medieval books, woodwork, drawings, metal objects, and other items characteristic of the era.
Temporary Exhibitions - the hall is located on the second floor of the main building.