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Department of Defense


The building was built in 1885 according to the project of the Czech architect Antonin Kolar, appointed by the Municipal Council as the city architect of Sofia. It was originally a two-story building, but between 1939 and 1945 it was mainly rebuilt by the “Vasilov-Tsolov” architectural office according to a project by the architects Ivan Vassilov and Dimitar Tsolov. A significant part of the furniture from 1939 has been preserved in the building. The wood paneling, parquet floors and chandeliers, as well as the original Persian carpets, commissioned from Iran in 1939, can still be seen today. Preserved in its original form are the large oval table and carved wooden chairs in the Hall of Swords, where military councils were held until the Second World War, and today it is the official place where the Minister of Defense speaks to high-ranking guests and delegations.

The exterior decoration of the building is the work of the famous sculptor Lyuben Dimitrov. On the corners of the facade are sculpted the images of great Bulgarian rulers – Khan Asparukh, Khan Krum, Khan Omurtag, Prince Boris, Tsars Simeon, Samuil, Kaloyan and Ivan Asen II. The author of the interior is the Ukrainian Mykhailo Parashchuk – one of the most prominent sculptors on a European scale, who worked and lived in Bulgaria. The central entrance is decorated with a decorative grille. There is a similar decoration in only one other place in Bulgaria – the entrance to the BNB, which is also his work. Two imposing stained glass windows, created by Prof. Georgi Atanasov, create a unique atmosphere in the military department. In the central foyer is an impressive stained glass window on the theme “The Bulgarian warrior through the ages”.

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