The beginning of Varna’s Archaeological Museum is closely connected with two Czech brothers being Herman and Karel Škorpil. They originally came to Varna to assist with education and cultural development after the Turkish Yoke had fallen to one side in 1894, subsequently they permanently settled in Varna.
1901 saw a group of actively social figures and teachers establish the Varna Archaeological Society which from then till now has been motivating and encouraging the development of the study of the local Varna region encompassing Northeast Bulgaria.
"1898 three classes school".....in the beginning it was only a 3-classes school...
a photo taken shortly after opening in 1898.
1898 Three Classes School ( Kind permission of Nikolay. Penev)
It was built from 1892 to 1898 to house the Varna Girl's School, it was the biggest schoolhouse in the Balkans. Later it became property of the state in 1945 and since 1993 the museum occupies the whole building.
1910 - Girls School ( Kind permission of Nikolay. Penev)
2000 square meteres of exhibition space are situated on two storeys. The exhibition themes have been developed in parallel in its spacious halls. The first hall consists of the abundance of well preserved relics of Varna's historical past and the second hall is dedicated to modern Bulgarian art.
The first floor of the Museum tells the rich story of Varna's development during the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages, Greek and Roman periods, the Middle Ages and the period of the Ottoman domination. The numerious exhibits have great historic and artistic value. They testify to the enormous amount of work done by the archaeologists and museum experts.
Visitors can see the world's most ancient gold treasure housed in special halls. This amazing discovery took place in 1972 during excavations for an underground cable for Varna. Workmen found by accident an ancient tomb with a pile of gold objects. Thus the earliest worked gold in the history of mankind was discovered in Varna Chalcolitic (Eneolithic) Necropolis. By 1976 the archaeologists had discovered 265 graves with a total of nearly 6 kg of 23.5 carat gold fine objects.
On June 11, 1906 the first exhibition of the Museum was officially opened in a room of the Girls’ High School, being the original buildings prime purpose. The society was later to find a permanent home in this magnificent central location once the school had closed.
The museum is now one of the largest in Bulgaria with over 2000Sq.Mts. of exhibition space with displays encompassing prehistoric, Thracian, Greek, Roman, Medieval, Byzantine, Ottoman and the late 19th 20th centuries.
Its most famous celebrated attribute is that of the “Gold of Varna” being a treasure trove of fabulously worked gold dating from around 4600-4200 BCE. You can only marvel at the intricacy achieved by the metal workers of the time.
A recommended place to visit by Varna Eye