Regional History Museum – Plovdiv

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The History Museum of Plovdiv was founded in 1951. Its purpose is to keep and preserve the cultural treasures and the history of Plovdiv and Plovdiv Region covering the period 15th – 20th centuries for the generations to come. It includes four exhibitions set up in different buildings in the centre of the city: Bulgarian Revival, Book Publishing in Bulgaria during the Second Half of the 19th and the Beginning of the 20th Centuries, Unification of Bulgaria 1885, and Modern History Museum Centre. The four collections were compiled in different periods and were joined together in 1993.
The Bulgarian Revival Exhibition is displayed in the Old Town, in one of the most impressive houses from the Bulgarian Revival Period – Dimitar Georgiadi’s house. The exhibition is dedicated to the period between the conquering of Bulgaria by the Ottomans (end of the 14th century) and the Liberation (1878). Special focus is placed on the Bulgarian Revival Period (18th – 19th centuries). The exhibits include personal belongings and documents of great people who made their contribution to the city. The exhibition also follows the development of the national liberation movement against the Ottoman rule.
The Book Publishing in Bulgaria during the Second Half of the 19th and the Beginning of the 20th Centuries Exhibition was opened in 1975. It is housed in Hristo G. Danov House-Museum. Danov (1828 – 1911) is regarded as the founder of book publishing in Bulgaria and the main textbook supplier to schools during the Revival Period. This section of the museum contains over 5000 volumes of books, unique editions, geographical maps, school pictures and aids, everyday items, personal belongings and the correspondence of Hristo Danov and his publishing house, etc. There, visitors will find a recreation of a classroom from the Bulgarian Revival Period and a recreation of the study of the renowned publisher from Plovdiv. The building of the museum is very interesting itself – it is an example of the richly ornamented Plovdiv symmetrical house.
The Unification of Bulgaria 1885 Exhibition is located close to the Saedinenie Square (Unification Square). It is displayed in the building which was used by the Provincial Council of Eastern Rumelia (an autonomous province in the Ottoman Empire established under the terms and conditions of the Treaty of Berlin of 13 July 1878). After the Unification of Eastern Rumelia with the Principality of Bulgaria (1885) the building housed the Plovdiv National Library. The exhibition was set up in 1985 in honour of the 100th anniversary since the Unification of Bulgaria. The monument standing in the square with the same name located opposite the building of the museum was erected in the same year. The exhibition presents an interesting period in the history of Plovdiv when it was the capital of Eastern Rumelia.
The Modern History Museum Centre has been part of the History Museum since 1948. It is housed in the building of a former officers’ club. The exhibition follows the development of the city since the Liberation (1878) until the end of the 1940s. The museum also keeps a rich collection of unique Japanese dolls. The collection is called The Soul of the Japanese Doll and was gathered with the help of the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Except for the Unification of Bulgaria Exhibition, all other exhibitions are located in the Ancient Plovdiv Reserve (The Old Town). The tour around these exhibitions not only enriches the visitors’ knowledge with historical facts, but it allows them to touch upon the unique spirit of the Bulgarian Revival Period with its beautiful architecture and the preserved streets and buildings.

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