Museum of Palaeontology, Elena
The Museum of Palaeontology in the town of Elena is situated under the roof of Popnikolova House – one of the oldest buildings in the town from the period of the Bulgarian National Revival (18th-19th century) and an architectural and construction cultural heritage of national importance. In 1980 – 1981 the house was fully reconstructed and donated to Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski as an educational and scientific base. At that time the Museum of Palaeontology was established on the ground floor of the building at the initiative and under the scientific management of Academician Prof. Todor Nikolov – doctor honoris causa of the University of Toulouse, France. The museum showcases exhibits from the collections of Prof. Todor Nikolov and chief researchers Stoycho Breskovski and Kristalina Stoykova. In addition to materials from the collections of eminent Bulgarian scientists, the museum also displays some of the findings excavated by university students during their archaeological training practice in Elena – fossils, minerals, etc.
The remaining floors of Popnikolova House are used by the students and professors of Sofia University as an educational base.
The building itself is also of interest – a typical representative of housing construction from the National Revival period in Elena. It was built in the first half of the 19th century – in about 1830 and faces two streets – Karshovska Str. and Stefan Yovchev Str. From the streets, it has three floors – a ground floor and two higher floors, while from the yard it has two floors. Immediately after the Liberation, it housed the Civil Engineering Bureau and for this reason, it is also known as the Old Engineering House. It was declared an architectural and construction monument with issue 51 of the State Gazette from 1973.
Postcards and souvenirs are available for purchase at the museum.
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