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The National Library of the Republic of Bulgaria

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The National Library of the Republic of Bulgaria stands as a beacon of knowledge and cultural heritage, not only as the largest library in the country but also as the oldest cultural institution established in post-liberation Bulgaria. Founded in 1879, the inception of the library was driven by the innovative idea of Sofia teacher Mikhail Bobotinov, marking a significant milestone in the nation’s cultural development.

The journey of the library’s physical structure has seen its share of historical tumult. Construction of the original building commenced in 1939 but tragically, it was destroyed during the heavy bombing of Sofia in 1944. The resilience of the Bulgarian spirit shone through as the current building was inaugurated in 1953, featuring facade decorations by sculptor Mihailo Parashchuk, which add to the architectural and aesthetic value of the institution.

Situated in front of the library is a magnificent monument dedicated to the brothers Cyril and Methodius, the revered creators of the Slavic script. This monument stands as a tribute to their monumental contribution to Slavic culture and literacy, symbolizing the enduring legacy of their work.

The “St. St. Cyril and Methodius” National Library is home to a vast and incredibly diverse collection, housing over 7 million volumes. This makes it not only the most crucial book depository in Bulgaria but also one of the most significant and richly stocked libraries in the Balkan region. Its collections, spanning numerous fields and disciplines, are invaluable to researchers, scholars, and the general public alike.

Declared a monument of culture in 1978, the National Library is a custodian of Bulgaria’s intellectual heritage, playing a pivotal role in the preservation and dissemination of knowledge, and fostering a culture of learning and inquiry that is essential to the nation’s ongoing cultural and academic pursuits.

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