Museums & Galleries in Plovdiv
The Archeological museum possesses one of the largest collections (100 000 exhibits) of human art connected with Plovdiv’s history.
The Bulgarian Museum of Aviation was founded in 1991 and it presents the development and the achievements of the Bulgarian aviation. The museum is a branch of the National Military and History Museum, and is situated in a close proximity to Plovdiv airport. The Aviation Museum possesses two rich expositions – an internal and an external one.
After main repairs and restoration in 2003, the present owners – the Maletzovis transformed it into an Art Gallery – Museum “Philippopolis”. In this moment Hadzi Aleko’s house is the first private museum – gallery in Plovdiv with a collection of works by 19th and 20th century Bulgarian masters such as Vladimir Dimitrov, Anton Mitov and Dimitar Gyudzhenov and halls for exhibitions of contemporary artists.
The house of Georgi Mavridi (today’s Lamartine House-Museum) was built in 1829 at a corner-spot of three streets, with difference in the levels.
Unlike some of the other house museums, which are great buildings but turned into galleries, Atanas Krastev House Museum is very much a house, with dining room, living room, and study, but with interesting and mostly contemporary artwork all around.
House-museum Georgiadi was built in 1848 by the Rhodopes master Haji George, and is one of the best models of the wide spread type of the Plovdiv “symmetrical house”. The Museum of National Liberation is now housed in Georgiadi House, only a few steps from Plovdiv’s reknown ancient gateway, “Hisar Kapia”. The museum exhibits cover the early Ottoman period, with special attention given to the era of the National Revival.
The house belonged to Hristo G. Danov, Bulgaria’s first large scale publisher. In a building adjacent to the house is now the Museum of Bulgarian Printing, complete with Danov’s first press.
The Plovdiv Museum of Ethnography is the second largest museum of its kind in Bulgaria. It was founded in 1917, and in 1938 it relocated to the Kuyumdzhiev House in Plovdiv’s Old Town, declared a cultural landmark in the 4th volume of the State Records for 1995. The museum features six exhibitions, each occupying a separate room.
The museum was opened to the public in 1955 as a “Temporary exhibition of materials belonging to a future Natural History Museum”, although the collections were not completed and the design scheme was not finished. This exhibition was a great success, attracting tens of thousand citizens and visitors of Plovdiv.
Once owned by Luka Balabanov, a wealthy 19th-century merchant, the Balabanov House was completely rebuilt in 1980 according to the original blueprints. It contains modern paintings and antique furniture. Today the Plovdiv Municipality uses the house as a Reception Hall and it is a center of various cultural activities.
Originally built as the home of Dr. Stoyan Chomakov, a prominent figure in the struggle for church and national independence, the house is now designated as a National Monument of Culture and was completed in 1860. The museum was dedicated on May 22, 1984. There are 76 paintings from both periods of the famous Plovdiv-born Bulgarian artist Zlatiju Boiadjiev (1903-1976) on permanent exposition on both floors of the house.In earlier days, Prince Ferdinand purchased the home and had it restyled it as his Plovdiv palace. Today the interior remains richly decorated; the stairs and stained glass are impressive.
Housed within the Archaeological Museum, Regional History Museum chronicles the 1885 Unification of Bulgaria through documents, photographs and belongings of the protagonists.
Chifte Banya is an old Turkish bath built in the 16th century. It is called “chifte”, which means “couple” since it comprises two bath departments – one for men and one for women.
Today the Center for Contemporary Art is housed in Chifte Banya and hosts contemporary works.
The City Gallery of Fine Arts, occupying a mansion from 1846, contains outstanding works by 19th and 20th century masters such as Goshka Datsov, Konstantin Velichkov and Nikolai Rainov. Also includes works by Georgi Mashev and Vladimir Dimitrov.