The oldest and largest museums in Bulgaria can be found in Sofia. The worldwide famous Thracian gold and silver treasures discovered through excavations in the Bulgarian lands, and many others originating from the Hellenistic, Roman and Middle Ages as well can be seen in the National Museum of History located in Boyana Quarter, at the skirts of Mount Vitosha, and in the Archaeological Museum of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences on Alexander I Square.
The other important museums in Sofia quite worth of visiting are the National Museum of the Bulgarian Fine Art and the National Ethnographic Museum, both found in the building of the former Royal Palace on Alexander I Square, the National Museum of Military History located in the lovely park of the Military Academy, the National Museum of Natural History on Tsar Osvoboditel Blvd., the Earth and Man National Museum with its collection of precious stones and minerals, situated near by the NDK.
The temporary retrospective exhibitions of the Sofia City Art Gallery (in the City Garden) inalterably represent a high artistic level, and visiting the halls of the National Gallery for Foreign Art may offer fanciful moments of ‘breakaway’ from the routine everyday life into the vast spaces of the European, or Japanese fine art.
In the Crypt of St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral Church a collection of icons and other works of the old ecclesiastical art created by generations of Bulgarian masters is exhibited. The collection of icons, ritual vessels, etc. of the Museum of Church History is no less exciting. Let’s look, for instance, at an utterly meaningful comment of a German lady recorded after she had seen in Munich the visiting exhibition in 2008 of icons from this museum’s collection: ‘Until today I knew only the name of Bulgaria, now I’m aware of her soul’.