Natural History Museum in Sofia celebrates its 125th birthday!
This year the National Museum of Natural History celebrates its 125th birthday.
It was established in 1889 by the Royal Prince of Bulgaria (Kniaz) Ferdindand, who was passionate explorer and collector, before becoming monarch of the country, and was consisting of his personal collections (birds, mammals, butterflies) and bearing the name Royal Prince's Natural History Museum.
With many new specimens and collections, coming mainly from abroad, donated by famous travelers, there was a need for constructing a new building so it will be possible to exhibit everything.
After the First World War the museum was renamed Royal Museum of Natural History and underwent great development under the management of Doctor Ivan Buresh (between 1914 - 1959), who was member of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. There were expeditions to all Bulgarian mountains and countries on the Balkans for collecting more specimens.
The building was made in 1936 and is the only one made specifically for its role, being a museum.
The museum was bombarded during the WWII, but the collections were preserved by being evacuated before the bombarding. The building was restored after the war and new exposition opened doors in 1948. The name was changed to Natural history museum.
In 1974 the Museum became independent institution, receiving its current name. The exposition enlarged, occupying 16 halls, once again exhibiting minerals, rocks, fossils and plants and the animal halls were arranged in a contemporary manner. After the museum gained its independence, the number of employees increased over two times and the number of publications per year went up several times. Once again a museum library was established and a new museum journal started coming out. In 1990 a Paleontological Museum was established as a branch of NMNHS in the town of Asenovgrad.
The National Museum of Natural History is the oldest of its kind on the Balkans peninsula and the oldest museum in Bulgaria.
For its 125th birthday, the museum will make special program, called "125 hours in the museum". It will consist of lectures, exhibitions, workshops and many more and will be held between 19-23th of August.
The program will be shortly announced.
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