National Ethnographic Museum is housed in the premises of the former Royal Palace, a remarkable building in the center of Sofia from the end of the 19th century – a monument of culture. The purpose of the National Ethnographic Museum is to collect, preserve and expose everything connected to the Bulgarian ethno cultural wealth.
The Museum possesses more then 50000 collection items organized under several categories: clothes, goldsmith crafts, copper objects, ritual objects, woodcarving, agriculture, ceramics, fabrics and embroideries, home furnishing, carpets, foreign art, and etc. It is no chance that the first decades of the 20th century the museum were qualified as one of the richest at the Balkan Peninsula. Over the past fifteen years, the museum has shown, independently or jointly with other museums, more than 50 exhibitions in Bulgaria and abroad.
The fund “Bulgarian Folk Wearing” is one of the riches museum depositories in the country. The preserved in the national treasure – house, traditional folk wearing is the biggest source for the revealing of the ethnically unity and of the opulent Bulgarian culture.
The Ethnographic museum collection represents and the topological characteristic of the traditional Bulgarian folk wear. It represents in details its structure and composition, and describes the attitude and its function in the public life of the Bulgarians: for patron feasts or for work.
The museum curators can tell visitors interesting facts regarding the traditions and beliefs of the Bulgarian people, which were reflected in their way of life at the weekends and on the work days. One of the most interesting collections is the one devoted to embroideries. It is believed that the embroidery is one of the most distinctive features of the Bulgarian folklore.
Quite interesting is the collection of ecclesiastical fretworks of the Tryavna, Samokov and Debar schools.
The National ethnographic museum is a popular cultural and educational center. The Ethnographic Institute with a museum at the Bulgarian Academy of Science is also located at the museum.