Home » Bulgaria » 100 National Tourist Sites » Museum Of Mosaics, Devnya

Museum Of Mosaics, Devnya

100 National Tourist Sites

The Museum of Mosaics in Devnia presents Roman and early Byzantine mosaics from Marcianopolis. It was built on part of the ancient foundations of the building with mosaics2, built at the end of the 3rd – beginning of the 4th century (the time of Constantine I Veliki) on the site of an earlier building(s) destroyed during the Gothic invasions in 250–251. The building occupies the area of an entire quarter with a length of 37.15 m and a width of 37.75 m.

Its plan follows the traditions of the Greco-Roman atrium-peristyle dwelling. Around an inner courtyard paved with stone slabs, with a brick well in the middle, surrounded on three sides by a covered gallery with a limestone colonnade, there are 21 residential, economic and storage rooms with a total area of 1402 sq.m. The walls of the residential rooms were covered with colorful plasters and frescoes, with plaster stucco. Five of the rooms of the building and the portico are covered with multicolored floor mosaics – some of the best examples of Roman mosaic art of that time found in Bulgaria.

The mosaics are made of small stones – cubes (tesserae) of marble, limestone, baked clay and colored glass (enamel), in 16 colors. Characters and scenes from Greco-Roman mythology, exotic animals and birds, plant and geometric motifs can be seen on them.

The mosaic covered the floor of the living room-dining room (8.00 x 8.00 m). It represents the shield of the goddess Athena Pallas, decorated in the middle with the severed head of the Gorgon Medusa. She protected the owners from evil and petrified ill-wishers with her fearsome appearance and chilling gaze (apotropeion).

It covered the floor of the building’s bedroom (4.40 x 5.60 m). It illustrates one of the numerous love affairs of the supreme ancient Greek god Zeus, who seduced the nymph Antiope, transformed into a young satyr. This is one of the few and the finest antique mosaics with this subject and the only one with the (Greek) inscription – ΣΑΤΥΡΟΣ / ΑΝΤΙΟΠΗ.

This is one of the central panels of the reception hall, which represents the ancient Greek legend of the abduction of Ganymede – the most beautiful among mortals – son of the Trojan king Tross and the nymph Calliroa. Because of his beauty, Zeus sent his eagle bird (or turned himself into an eagle) to abduct him and took him to Olympus as cupbearer of the gods, granting him eternal youth. So far, this is the only mosaic with this plot discovered in Bulgaria.

The “Seasons” mosaic covered the floor of the ladies’ room. (8.60 x 7.80 m). During one of the reconstructions of the building, most of the mosaic was destroyed.

The bust of Autumn, represented as a young woman in a gold-woven garment, is preserved.

The mosaic decoration consists of repeated geometric motifs (probably borrowed from the decoration of sarcophagi) in four colors. Large pebbles of marble and baked clay were used in the making of the mosaic.

Work time:
Opening hours:
May 1 – September 30: 10:00 – 16:00 (no holiday.) October 1 – April 30: 10:00 – 16:00 (Holidays – Saturday and Sunday.)

Entrance fees:
Regular ticket: adults – BGN 4.
Reduced – BGN 2.
Groups of more than 10 people – adults – BGN 3.
Children – BGN 1.
Students during the school year – BGN 0.50.

individual talk – BGN 10.

Address: Devnya, 73 Saedinenie St
Phone: 051934440, 0882 699948

Did we get something wrong? Contact us!