The exposition chronologically comprises the period from the eneolith to the end of 14th century when medieval Bulgarian state lost independence and was conquered by Ottomans.
Prehistory is represented in the first 3 halls by finds of archeological research on settlements, mounds and necropolises near Targovishte, Polyanitza, Ovtcharovo, Podgoritza, Omourtag, Ossikovo and Drinovo. Visitors can see the way dwellings were constructed and of the earliest town plan concepts in the world (neolith), unique rebuilding of a dwelling in which the original furnishing elements are used. A central place takes a religious scene from Ovtcharovo (eneolith) the only one in the world, a glimpse at the view of life and spiritual ideas of prehistoric man. Models of prehistoric dwellings, samples of eneolith pottery, rich idol collections, tools of stone, flint, bone, horn and copper - all these are just a part of the shown about prehistoric man living in the land of today’s Targovishte region.
Thracian culture is a point of attention in exposition halls 4 and 5. Building, architecture, religion, funeral rites and art are main themes. Here one can see unique finds from a mound necropolis near the village of Kralevo (hydria - urn, mahaira sword, bronze helmet, foreign pottery, funeral wreath, sacrificial altar, etc) masterpiece samples of Thracian art such as the bronze matrixes for cup decoration, the unique surgical instrument from the heroon near the village of Lyublen, the votive tablets dedicated to Apollo and the Thracian horseman from the sanctuary near the village of Draganovetz, stone plastic from the Roman period, finds revealing the population’s basic occupation and so on.
The most interesting specimens of the numismatic collection are exposed in hall 5. There are coins (single an collective finds) been in circulation from the 5th century BC to the end of 14th century AD ( diabol, stater, drachma, tetradrachma, anthonian, folis, perpera, grosh).
Middle Ages are a theme of the museum expositions in hall 7. In a chronological order are represented the early Byzantine period, First and Second Bulgarian State (5th - 14th cemtury) by finds discovered during excavations of the fortresses “Kroumovo Kale” (near Targovishte) and near the village of Dolna Kabda, in the workshops near the village of Nadarevo and the church near the village of Tcherkovna. Objects of everyday life, armaments, a collection of bronze belt applications, fragments of gold-woven fabric, unique epigraphic records (Tcherkovna, Gorno Novkovo and Kreptcha - 10th and 13th century) are just a small part of the interesting museum story.
The architectural and ethnographic complex Etar - the unique open-air museum, is situated 8 km away from Gabrovo.
Master-craftsmen fashion beautiful gold, silver, copper, leather and wooden articles right before your eyes from early morning until late in the night. The waft of freshly baked bread drifts across from an old bakery and a tiny coffee shop serves steaming sweet Turkish coffee cooked in a copper pot. Pastry cooks offer delicious home-made cookies and cakes. And around this - lovely old houses, flowers on the window sills, small shops with wooden shutters and gas lanterns on the street corners.
One of the more appealing attractions in central Bulgaria is this delightful museum. First opened in 1964, the open-air exhibition contains nearly 50 shops and workshops. The village is designed in a style typical of the Bulgarian national revival period (18th and 19th centuries) and is spread over seven hectares (17 acres) of grass and trees.
For the comprehensive service of customers, the museum has a hotel complex, an inn with 83 beds, a restaurant, tavern and a day bar. The Revival Tavern is famous with its homemade bread and wide variety of national dishes.
• "City life from the end of XIX c. and the beginning of XX c." – Sakov’s House – 2nd floor
• "National Museums" – Pottery workshop – 2nd floor
• "Lazar Donkov" – work shop – Coppersmith’s – 2nd floor
• "Craftsmen houses" – Leather, Cart and music workshops – 2nd floor
Botanic Garden of the Bulgarian Academy of Science
The Botanical Garden succeeds the Royal Botanical Garden, Which was established in 1882. The Botanical Garden was included in BAS in 1947, initially as a part of the Botanical Institute.
The Botanical Garden is a specialised unit with subject of activity:
• Establishment and maintenance of scientifically organized and documented collections of native and exotic plants for the purposes of experimental botanical studies and biological diversity conservation;
• public education in the area of natural science and nature conservation.
The Botanical Garden exchanges seeds, plants, and information with more than 400 botanical gardens, departments of botany and experimental stations from 63 countries in Europe, Asia, America, Africa, and Australia.
THE HOUSE OF HUMOR AND SATIRE
Coming into the world on April 1st, 1972, the House of Humour and Satire (HHS) is a proud successor of the local folklore humour and the merry carnival traditions of the town of Gabrovo – the Bulgarian capital of humour. Today it is an international cultural center that successfully combines both the features of a museum and those of a busy art gallery. The House of humor and satire is a place that serves not only to perpetuate the celebrated Gabrovo anecdotes, but it also is a meeting ground of examples of contemporary humorous and satirical art from all over the world.
Its motto is: “The world lasts because it laughs”. The House of humor and satire traces, preserves and popularizes humor from all nations and of all genres: painting, drawing, sculpture, literature, film, theater, music, photography and etc. It holds international humor events, exhibitions, concerts, performances, children’s parties and encourages both young and established artists to create humorous works.
The building of the HHS rises on the foundations of an old tannery, and houses 10 exhibition rooms of an overall area of 8,000 sq.m. Placed in front of it are: the sculpture of Charlie Chaplin who looks ironically at the world; the figures of the popular characters of Miguel de Servantes, which are made of Gabrovo metal scrap, and Hitar Petar (a famous Bulgarian character known for his brightness and wit), who has mounted his donkey backwards and smiles spitefully at the passers by.
VISIT THE HOUSE OF HUMOR AND SATIRE AND YOU WILL LEARN...
• Why there are jokes about the residents of Gabrovo
• How to set your watch with the Gabrovo time
• Why they say that Adam and Eve are residents of Gabrovo
• How to chase away evil ghosts
• Where you could buy glasses for self-invited guests
• What you look like when observing yourselves into a distorting mirror
WELCOME TO THE FUNNY HOUSE AND YOU WILL SEE…
• THE ROOTS OF THE GABROVO HUMOR – permanent exhibition
• THE GABROVO PLANET – children's entertainment room
• ART FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD – paintings, black and white drawings, caricatures, sculptures, posters.
• CARNIVAL MASKS AND COSTUMES
• AFRICAN ART – authentic ritual masks and sculptures
• HEAVEN through the eyes of the Adam and Eve of Gabrovo
• HELL – satiric wall paintings from twenty Bulgarian monasteries
• PHOTO-LAUGHTER – smiles from old and new photos
• DISTORTING MIRRORS
• LAUGHTER PARK representing monumental sculptures of Hitar Petar, Don Quihote and Sancho Pansa, Charles Chaplin, the Tower of Babel, etc.
BE GUESTS AT THE JOLLY HOUSE AND TAKE WITH YOU…
• Unique souvenirs from the Gabrovo area /glasses split in two, cutlery for self-invited guests, Gabrovo mugs, cat figurines, Gabrovo watches and clocks, etc./
• Literary miscellany of Gabrovo humor /translated in Bulgarian, English, French and German/
• A book of Gabrovo pranks and jokes /translated in Bulgarian, Russian, English, German, French and Spanish/
• Collection of humorous stories from the BLAGOLAJ library
• A pleasant memory of the meeting with the catchy Gabrovo wit
Ethnographic Museum Chiflika
Ethnographic complex Chiflika Chukurovo is a unique place combining a hotel, three bungalows, a family guest house, tavern, wine-cellar, agricultural museum in the open, ethnographic museum, hunters chamber and a special place for rest amidst the forest - picnic Yurta. Here in absolutely authentic environment guests will witness traditional Bulgarian customs, will feel the way of life of the Bulgarians from old times and will taste Bulgarian dishes prepared after authentic recipes.
Ethnographic complex Chiflika Chukurovo is located amidst a lush in greenery park in a lovely hilly locality. Here even the most discerning visitors will be charmed by the incredible peace and quiet, the cozy rooms, the impeccable service, the lovely cuisine and the numerous opportunities for entertainment including even several extreme experiences.
The Museum of Mosaics
The Museum of Mosaics in Devnyadisplays early-Byzantine mosaics1 from Marcianopolis. The idea for its
organization was born within the process of archeological research that started in 1976 and continued for five
seasons with interruptions2. In the process of research, a large late-Roman building decorated with mosaics was
found (The House of Antiope).
The Museum was built by project of Architect Kamen Goranov standing partly on the ancient foundations of the
building with the mosaics3. This ancient building was erected at the end of the 3rd – the beginning of 4th c (the
time of Constantine The Great) on the location of earlier building/s that had been destroyed during the Gotts
invasions of 250–251. This building existed with repairs and reconstructions until the beginning of the 7th c.
The building occupies a whole quarter (insula) of length 37,15 m (north-south) and width 37,75 m (east-west).
The building’s plan follows the traditions of the Greek-Roman atrium-peristil residential place. Twenty one
residential-, processing- and storage rooms of total area 1 402 square meters are arranged around a closed yard
(atrium) (5,87 x 11,11 m), paved with stone slabs and brickwork water well in its middle, surrounded on three
sides by covered colonnade (cryptoporticus) (92,63 m2). The walls of the residential rooms were covered by
coloured paint and murals of plaster. Five of the building’s rooms and porticoes are covered with multi-coloured
floomosaics, one of the best examples of the Roman mosaic art of that period found in Bulgaria.
THE MUSEUM OF THE ROSE – KAZANLAK
Тhe first exposition “Kazanlak Rose” was opened in 1969 . Later was established а section in the “Iskra” museum. This is the only museum in Bulgaria, where can be seen the development and the traditions of the rose oil – yielding. In the attractive history – ethnographic complex “Kulata” – Kazanlak, the tourists can watch primitive rose – stewing and to taste some of the products with oil – bearing rose – jam, liqueur. More than 10 000 varieties of roses are known nowadays, but only about 200 have oil - yielding properties. The oil – boiled rose was brought in Bulgarian from the East and takes an important part of the Kazanlak region history.
In the museum reserve “Old Anhialo salt-mines” visitors can get acquainted with the authentic Anhialo method for salt extraction, as well as follow through the history of salt production from antiquity till present days. The museum has an exhibition hall and acting salt-mines, located on 2 hectares of land. Till 1920 Pomorie used to be the only Bulgarian town producing sea salt - a very rare product, as valuable as gold.
NATIONAL ART GALLERY – SOFIA
The idea of collecting works and creating an art gallery of the capital occupied the keen councillors at the Municipality even before World War I. Their desire was to collect in one place works by our well-known masters connected mainly with the life, history and beautiful sights of our principal city. That was a period when the young Bulgarian state, liberated not long before, sought diverse ways of improving its cultural position in all fields, when the foundations of the centres of a cultural and aesthetic education were being laid. Unfortunately it was not possible to realise this wonderful idea. It was not until the thirties that the idea of the gallery once more found enthusiastic supporters. It was then that the City Library was founded to which a small collection of pictures and museum show-pieces was soon attached. Yet it was only after the end of World War II, when the socialist revolution had triumphed in Bulgaria, that it was possible to realize this long - cherished dream.
As early as a few months after the 9 th of September 1944 Simeon Ignatievski spared no effort to start a collection which even at the time was considered as a base for the creation of a large representative national gallery. There followed an enthusiastic search for valuable pictures all over the country, in different ministries, and for pictures privately owned. In the course of four or five years the number of works of art collected reached two thousand. They were hung in the hall of one of the large galleries in Sofia to be passed by a national state jury.