Yesterday I went to the Regional Museum of History in Blagoevgrad. I must admit, my expectations weren’t too high. Some weeks ago there was a photo exposition of which the advertising poster was the most impressive..
I decided to go anyway and I’m glad I did. I bought a ticket at the entrance and the English speaking woman told me to go downstairs. Well, I didn’t expect the stuffed animals! I immediatly got this ‘Night at the museum’ feeling. There was no one else, only the animals, all staring at me. From butterflies, owls, birds, snakes and gulls to foxes, rabbits, bears and deer.
I was happy to see other people entering the museum, talking, getting rid of the abandonment. I looked around in the other 2 areas on that floor, with pottery, jewelry, parts of church statues. Here are some pictures to give you an impression.
After I’d seen everything downstairs I went back to first floor. This museum has different departments and it’s hard to say how big it is and how much more is coming. I decided to just see where I would end up. I got to see old Bulgarian song books, a dreary costume exposition, a department with war attributes going from swords to old pictures, propagandist posters and guns. On the second floor was a deparment with old cameras, a sewing machine, furniture and old documents.
For a moment I thought I was back in my ‘Night at the museum’ again. I swear I heard something! As I carefully looked around the next corner I got tapped on my shoulder. Haha, just kidding. I saw 2 buckets on the floor, catching water dripping from the ceiling. This museum was a giant, proud, dominant building when it was build 60 years ago, but things have aged. Some of the lights don’t work, there are leakage problems, the carpet has different colors.. The collection is amazing, the way it’s preserved and presented needs renovation.
On top of that the power went out. The man who was leading around some students went back to the entrance, which made me think the museum was closing early. I asked him, to be sure, and he told me it was a power cut problem in the city. The museum was still open! As I returned to the second floor he asked me if he could lead me around. He told me about costumes, the Turkish Empire, communist times and his own experiences with that as a 10 year old. After 10 minutes the light went back on, and we walked another round to have a better look.
He told me that there are plans for a big costume exposition this year. I got excited and asked if there was any way I could help with that. We exchanged contact information and hopefully this won’t be the end of the story.
It’s a museum worth visiting and a ticket costed me 2 leva. Look closely and don’t let the way things are preserved ruin it’s beauty.
Adress: street ‘Bistritsa’ 2, Varosha (Old town), Blagoevgrad
улица ‘Бистрица’ 2, Вароша
Coordinates: 42.020383, 23.102929
How to get there?
When you’re driving on the E79/1 between Sofia and the border of Greece take a left (or right, if you’re coming from south) at the junction close to ‘Mr. Bricolage’, a big job shop. You will get on boulevard Sveti Dimitar Solunksi (булевард свети димитър солунски), where you will take a right when you’re in front of cemetery next to Kaufland. After a roundabout this will turn into street Aleksander Stamboliiski (улица Александър Стамболийски). The museum is next to old town of Blagoevgrad, which is called Varosha. You will see it on your right side when driving on this street.