Museums, Churches and Other Places

There are many interesting museums you can visit in Bulgaria. Most of the cities, especially the big ones offer a variety of different type of museums – if you start with the Museum of Socialist Art in Sofia, go through the Yogurt Museum in Studen Izvor and end up in the Rose Museum in Kazanlak. There are museums near almost every historical landmark in the country you can guess the total amount of places you can visit. Bulgarians are very proud of their history and cultural heritage, that’s why they respect the museums in the country, which preserve our national wealth.
Since the museums in the country are really a lot, we would like to point out some of the most interesting ones, and the rest you can check online:
Museum of Socialist Art, Sofia – for many Bulgarians the socialism (or often called communism) is something that was a big part of their life till recently. That’s why this museum is considered as one of the controversial ones. However, for many foreign tourists, who never lived in that regime, it’s very interesting to visit the museum. It is good to know that it is open from 10 a.m. till 5:30 p.m. during the week.
The Yogurt Museum, Studen Izvor – As you might now, the world famous yogurt (or in Bulgarian kiselo mlyako) was created here in Bulgaria, thanks to the lactobacillus bulgaricus bacteria, which could be found only in Bulgaria. Since it’s one of the things that Bulgarians are most proud of, why not having a museum of it? Studen Izvor is located in the western part of country and is the hometown of Dr. Stamen Grigorov – the creator of Lactobacillus bulgaricus.
The House of Humor and Satire, Gabrovo – Gabrovo is well-known as capital of the humor in Bulgaria. There are many jokes and stories making fun of the people from that town, that’s why there is a whole museum dedicated to the famous Gabrovo humor. There is no surprise that Fool’s Day, April 1st is the official holiday of the museum. If you like to laugh then you should definitely visit that place!
There are many more big museums, placed in the major cities, as we already mentioned. The National History Museum in Sofia, the Earth and Man Natural Museum (Sofia), Etar Architectural and Ethnographic Complex (with the authentic Bulgarian houses and craft shops, which are very famous), the National Archaeological Museum (Sofia), Plovdiv Regional Ethnographic Museum (in the heart of the old town, also showing the amazing traditional Bulgarian culture), Nesebar Archaeological Museum (Nesebar), Archeological Museum (Varna) and many more.
The main religion in Bulgaria is Eastern Orthodox Christianity. In general, Bulgarians are not that religious, but still there are many churches and cathedrals in every town in the country. It’s good to know that Eastern Orthodox churches are quite different than the Catholic ones. There are also more than 120 monasteries across the country, the biggest ones being Rila Monastery, St. Ivan Rilski and Bachkovo Monastery, Virgin Mary. If you would like to see the full list and guides to them, you can visit BulgariaMonasteries. Usually there are no restrictions for entering a church or a monastery, but it’s preferable to be dressed properly.
Also, it is good to know that the biggest cathedral In Bulgaria is in Sofia – St. Aleksandar Nevski, there are also big cathedrals in Varna - Dormition of the Mother of God Cathedral, in Vidin - Cathedral of St. Demetrius, Plovdiv - Cathedral of St. Marina, Cathedral of the Most Holy Nativity of the Theotokos in Veliko Tarnovo, etc.

   Other places

In Bulgaria there many places which are worth visiting that cannot be listed here (not only because they are all unique, but we might miss something). That’s why, in 1966 the Bulgarian government started a movement whose main idea was to promote Bulgarian tourism and to include some of the best places in the country. It is called 100 Tourists Sites in Bulgaria. To further make the idea more interesting, they created a small booklet with a list of all the 100 places included in the movement, so whenever you visit one of them you can get a stamp in your book (to actually proof you visited the place). Whenever you get some amount of stamps you are rewarded a medal. This system is still active, so if you are a travel maniac and you have enough time to spend in Bulgaria, then you should definitely get one of those booklets! In Bulgaria it’s known as the 100 sites.
You can find the list below:
1.    Bansko city: Velyanova House, Neofit Rilski Museum, Nikola Vaptsarov Museum, Art School of Bansko Icon Museum, Holy Trinity Church of Bansko
2.    Pirin — Vihren Peak.
3.    Dobarsko village — Theodore Tyro and Theodore Stratilates Church.
4.    Melnik — Historical Museum of Melnik, Kordopulov House, Rozhen Monastery.
5.    Petrich — the Rupite Area, St. Petka Church, Samuil's Fortress.
6.    Malko Tarnovo — Petrova Niva Site, Museum of History.
7.    Nesebar — Architectural Reserve, Archaeological Museum.
8.    Sozopol — Archaeological Museum.
9.    Varna — Museum of History and the Maritime Museum.
10.    Devnya — Museum of Mosaics.
11.    Veliko Tarnovo — Tsarevets architectural reserve, Museum of History, Arbanasi architectural reserve.
12.    Svishtov — Aleko Konstantinov’s House.
13.    Vidin — Baba Vida Fortress
14.    Magura Cave.
15.    Rocks and Fortress of Belogradchik, Museum of History.
16.    Vratsa — Ledenika Cave, Regional Museum of History.
17.    Okolchitsa — the place of Hristo Botev’s death.
18.    Kozloduy — Radetzky steam ship-museum, Monument of Hristo Botev.
19.    Gabrovo — Etar Architectural-Ethnographic Complex, Museum of Education
20.    Bozhentsi village — Architectural Reserve.
21.    Tryavna — Museum of the Wood-Carving and Ethnographical Arts.
22.    Dryanovo — Dryanovo Monastery, Kolyu Ficheto Museum, Bacho Kiro Cave.
23.    Dobrich — House of Yordan Yovkov, Art Gallery.
24.    Balchik — Architectural Park "Dvoretsa"), Kavarna — Kaliakra Headland, Kaliakra Archaeological reserve.
25.    Kardzhali — Ruins of Perperikon, Regional Museum of History, Monastery of John the Precursor (Св. Йоан Предтеча).
26.    Kyustendil — Vladimir Dimitrov - Maistora Art Gallery, House of Dimitar Peshev.
27.    Ruen Peak in Osogovo Mountain.
28.    Rila Monastery.
29.    Skakavitsa Hut and the Seven Rila Lakes.
30.    Lovech — Museum of Ethnography, Kakrina Inn, Vasil Levski Museum.
31.    Troyan — Cherni Osam village — Natural Science Museum, Troyan Monastery.
32.    Teteven — Museum of History.
33.    Brestnitsa village — Saeva Dupka Cave.
34.    Berkovitsa — Kom Peak, Museum of Ethnography.
35.    Pazardzhik — Church of Virgin Mary, House of Stanislav Dospevski, Regional Museum of History.
36.    Panagyurishte — Oborishte locality, House of Rayna Knyaginya.
37.    Peshtera — Snezhanka Cave
38.    Batak — Museum of History.
39.    Tran — the Gorge on the Jerma River.
40.    Pleven — St George the Conqueror Chapel Mausoleum, Pleven Panorama, Regional Museum of History.
41.    Plovdiv — Roman Amphitheatre, Old Plovdiv architecture reserve, Ethnography Museum, Museum of History, St. Konstantin and Elena Church.
42.    Perushtitsa — Museum of History.
43.    Sopot — the Nunnery, House of Ivan Vazov.
44.    Karlovo — Vasil Levski National Museum.
45.    Kalofer — Hristo Botev National Museum.
46.    The Botev Peak.
47.    Asenovgrad — The Bachkovo Monastery, Asenova krepost fortress.
48.    Razgrad — Abrittus Archaeological reserve.
49.    Isperih — Museum of History, Sboryanovo museum of history and archaeology, Thracian Tomb, the Thracian town of Chelis, Demir Baba Tekke — Sveshtari village.
50.    Rousse — House of Zahari Stoyanov, Pantheon of National Revival Heroes.
51.    Silistra — Museum of History, Medcidi Tabi fortress.
52.    Srebarna Nature Reserve.
53.    Tutrakan — Military Tomb Memorial Complex, Museum of Danube Fishing and Boat-Making.
54.    Sliven — House of Hadzhi Dimitar, National Textile Museum.
55.    Sinite Kamani Natural park, Karandila Hut.
56.    Kotel — Georgi Sava Rakovski’s Panteon and the Museum of Famous People of the Bulgarian Revival Age, Natural Sciences Museum.
57.    Zheravna village — Architecture and Ethnography Reserve, The House of Yordan Yovkov.
58.    Sofia — The National Museum of History, Boyana Church National Museum.
59.    Sofia — Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.
60.    Sofia — National Church Museum of History and Archaeology of the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.
61.    Sofia — National Palace of Culture.
62.    Sofia — National Art Gallery, Institute of Ethnography and Museum maintained by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
63.    Etropole — Museum of History, Clocktower, Monastery of the Holy Trinity.
64.    Sofia — Earth and Man National Museum.
65.    Sofia — National Museum of Natural Science maintained by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
66.    Sofia — Museum of the History of Sport located inside the Vasil Levski National Stadium.
67.    Hisarya — Starosel village — Thracian Temple.
68.    Sofia — Institute of Archaeology and Museum maintained by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
69.    Sofia — the Zoo.
70.    Bratsigovo — Town Museum of History.
71.    Sofia — St. Sophia Temple.
72.    Chirpan — House Museum of Peyo Yavorov, Nikola Manev Art Gallery, St. Athanasius monastery in Zlatna Livada village. (The Sofia Synagogue occupied this position prior to 2007.)
73.    Dimitrovgrad — History Museum, the House of Penyo Penev.
74.    Vitosha — Cherni Vrah.
75.    Koprivshtitsa — Archaeology and History Reserve.
76.    Sredna Gora — Bogdan Peak.
77.    Klisura — Museum of History.
78.    Osenvlag village — Seven Altars Monastery.
79.    Samokov — Museum of History, the Nunnery.
80.    Rila — Musala Peak.
81.    Botevgrad — the Clocktower. (Slivnitsa town cemetery occupied this position prior to 2005.)
82.    Skravena village — St. Nikolai Monastery, Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Ossuary of the members of Hristo Botev's depatchment.
83.    Smolyan — Smolyan Planetarium, Museum of History. (Uhlovitsa Cave has been removed from this position.)
84.    Pamporovo — Uhlovitsa Cave, Snezhanka Peak.
85.    Golyam Perelik Peak, the Wonderful Bridges.
86.    Zlatograd — Ethnography Complex.
87.    Shiroka Laka village.
88.    Trigrad Gorge, the Devil's Throat Cave.
89.    The Yagodina Cave, Buynovo Gorge.
90.    Stara Zagora – the Neolithic Houses, the Roman Forum of Augusta Traiana, the Stara Zagora Defenders Memorial Complex, Museum of History.
91.    Kazanlak – Chudomir Art and Literature Museum, Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak.
92.    Shipka town — Shipka Memorial Church.
93.    Shipka Pass — Shipka Memorial.
94.    Shumen — Shumen Fortress Reserve of Architecture and History, Founders of Bulgaria Monument, the local Museum of History.
95.    Shumen — Tombul Mosque.
96.    Pliska — Archaeological Reserve.
97.    Madara — Archaeological Reserve.
98.    Veliki Preslav – National Reserve of History and Architecture.
99.    Yambol — the Ancient town of Kabile, Museum of History.
100.    Elhovo — Museum of Ethnography.

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