The National Museum of Military History (NMMH) is a state museum, which is a structure of the Ministry of Defense (respectively the Ministry of War and the Ministry of National Defense). The museum has existed under various names and subordinate to various institutions since 1 August 1914 (in practice since 4 July 1916). It investigates, preserves, processes scientifically and popularizes cultural valuables connected with the national and European military history.
In it’s nearly one hundred years of existence, the museum has collected almost a million items related to Bulgarian and European military history. It disposes of 5,000 m² of indoor and 40,000 m² of outdoor exhibition area, a library and a computer center.
Displays over three floors tell the story of warfare in Bulgaria from the time of the Thracians onwards, with extensive labeling and information boards in English. Most space goes to the period from the 1876 April Uprising through to WWI, with cases filled with weaponry, rebel flags and a seemingly endless parade of uniforms and personal belongings of soldiers.
The museum thought of a nice way to make us feel the atmosphere of the presented time by playing different sounds corresponding to the period. Sounds of floating rivers, the national military anthem, the Hurray of the soldiers, the bombings during the II World War and more will take you to the glorious battles of Bulgarian history.
The second part of the exhibition is the park where dozens of military hardware are stored. For those interested in WW2, note the collection of German battle tanks, including PzIII and Stugs. The outdoor display has more than 230 examples of military artillery, aviation equipment, and marine equipment. Also on display are SCUD, FROG, and SS-23 missiles and missile launchers.
The museum also offers educational programs for younger visitors.
How to get to the National Museum of Military History
The museum has recently moved to a new site at 92 Cherkovna Str. next to the military academy, although the public entrance is around the corner in Han Omurtag Str.
You can go there by taking Tram 20 from the city center (next o the Central Bath, the Mineral Springs, at Dondukov Blvd., or next to Zaimov Park and Theater Sofia). By feet it is 3.5 km walk (SE) from Alexander Nevsky Cathedral: go to Shipka street, then follow Han Omurtag street until you reach the entrance. The museum is at the crossroad with Cherkovna Street.