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National Ethnographic Museum (IEFEM – BAS)

100 National Tourist Sites

The museum’s unique collection of over 50,000 exhibits presents the period from the 16th to the 19th centuries through folk rites and crafts, people’s livelihood, furniture, ornaments, clothing, musical instruments. There are also exhibits on the culture of the Bulgarians living today outside the political borders of Bulgaria in Macedonia, the Western outskirts, Northern Dobrudja and Banat. The treasures of the museum are collected in several funds: “Domestic crafts and furniture”, “Wood carving”, “Agriculture and animal husbandry”, “Ceramics”, “Carpets and coarse fabrics”, “Wrought iron”, “Copperwork”, “Jewellery”, “Customs and ceremonial requisites”, “Traditional national clothing”, “Foreign art”, “Embroidery and small fabrics”.

The “Traditional Folk Clothing” Fund is the country’s richest ethnographic museum repository of traditional costumes and has over 20,000 inventory items. Princess Evdokia, sister of Tsar Boris III, was a passionate collector of Bulgarian vezmo, fabrics and ornaments. she donated her collection to the museum. Tsar Boris III also made a donation to HEM in 1941. One of the largest collections kept in the National Ethnographic Museum is that of works of pastoral and ecclesiastical carvings over 4,000 exhibits. It is also rich the collection of works by Bulgarian master goldsmiths together with the complete craft toolkit – over 5,000 objects, relating to the 18th-early 20th centuries.

Also of interest are the collections of kuker masks and costumes, painted Easter eggs, ritual breads, martenits, cheesecloths, wedding flags , amulets, horse decorations, crosses, icons… The museum’s holdings include the largest preserved royal collection – nearly 450 items. These are items from the interior of the royal palace in Sofia and personal belongings of the rulers of the Third Bulgarian Kingdom . The Ethnographic Museum was founded in 1892. Already in the 1920s, it was qualified as one of the richest in the Balkans. It is located in the eastern wing of the former royal palace at “Knyaz Alexander Square G#1.

Work time:
March 1 – October 31 10.00 – 18.00
November 1 – February 28 10.00 – 17.30
Closed: Monday

Entrance fees:
Adult: BGN 10.00
Pupils, students, pensioners: BGN 5.00
Talk in Bulgarian/English language: BGN 30.00

City of Sofia, “Al.Batenberg” square № 1
Phone: +359 0879 40 93 18

Educational programs:
(Mon-Fri between 9:00 – 18:00) +359 879 80 79 47

Public Relations
(Mon-Fri between 9:00 – 18:00) +359 879 12 43 35

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