Established to delight the eye, Plovdiv Regional Ethnographic Museum has always been opened for those who are eager to learn and seek knowledge. The museum houses over 40 000 artifacts which mostly relate to the traditions of Plovdiv city population and its cultural and economic environment as well. The most significant ones among the collections are those of copper utensils, pottery, ancient weapons, shepherd's wood-carving, adornments and religious items; point lace and knitted lace, costumes from all the Bulgarian ethnic territory; musical instruments and urban interior.
A Day At Ethnographical Museum Bulgaria
1. The House
One of the most picturesque spots in the old town of Plovdiv is located near the eastern gate of the town called Hisar Kapiia (Hisar Stone Gate). As a part of this ensemble, the impressive façade of the Kuyumdzhiouglu house, built in the remote 1847 by the master-builder Hadji Georgi, creates unique atmosphere. It is a typical representative of Plovdiv Renaissance symmetrical house, defined by experts as a peak of Baroque architecture in Bulgaria. Antonio Colaro, a tobacco tradesman, bought it in 1930. In 1938, following the initiative of the mayor Mr. Bozhidar Zdravkov, the Municipality of Plovdiv and the Ministry of National Education signed an official decision for establishing a Municipal House-Museum whose successor nowadays is Regional Ethnographic Museum in Plovdiv. Since 1943 the house-monument has been opened for visitors. Presently, the unique house is a National Monument of Culture. The house can be accessed with your Ethnographical Museum tickets.
2. Permanent Exhibition
Your Ethnographical Museum tour will is not complete without seeing its permanent exhibition. The wealth of items on exhibit represent the traditional culture of Thrace, the Rhodopes, and The Central Balkan Mountains during the Bulgarian Awakening (18th-19th centuries). The permanent exhibit of agriculture and animal husbandry demonstrate the foundational importance of these activities for the region's population. Some of the period's most characteristic traditional crafts on display here are the production of woolen clothing and multi-colored woolen embroidery, pottery, copper work, and wrought ironwork. The museum also displays a representative range of the goldsmith's art. There are exhibits of decorative plates and church salvers, traditional folk costumes, fabrics, and rugs, musical instruments and ritual objects. Typical interiors are on view from the city of Koprivshtitsa, from the Rhodopes, and from the city of Plovdiv, to convey a sense of the region's habits and customs.
The Agriculture Stock comprises tools and utensils (in total about 1000 inventory items) used in the economic activities of the population living in the region between the Rhodopes mountains and the Rose Valley. Exponents of the specific of this region: wine producing, tobacco-growing, rice-growing, rose oil manufacture, gardening and stock-breeding are displayed here. Among the exhibits, the following attract mostly visitors' attention: a gun-powder box, dated 1757; wooden calendars (tallies), Rhodope bells, rose distillery in Karlovo (1876), etc.The stock is presented in two exhibit halls. With the Ethnographical Museum tickets, you will be able to see these collections.
The stock includes over 7 000 inventory items – craftsman's articles and tools. The main collections are: copper utensils (one of the richest collections in our country, with samples from the middle of 18th c. until the end of 19th c.), porcelain, ceramics, wrought iron, adornments and church plates, clocks, antique arms, seals, and banners of craft-guilds.Four of the museum halls are separated for crafts to be displayed: homespun tailoring, pottery, copper-smithery and iron-smithery, and goldsmith's trade.
5. Textiles and Clothing
With more than 11.000 exhibits, the Textiles and Clothing Stock is the largest one in the museum. The textiles are divided in two sections: small-size textiles (towels, tablecloths and small covers) and big-size textiles (carpets, rugs, goat's hair rugs, felts, covers, tuft and fleecy rugs, fabrics for mattresses and quilts). There is a unique collection of carpets, dating back to the middle and the end of 19th century. The rich collection of traditional costumes and town suits represents not only the typical clothing from the region but such from all the other parts of the country, as well. Particularly interesting is the collection of underwear from the end of 19th c. and the beginning of 20th c. The stock comprises two exhibit halls and the second-floor parlour.
With an inventory of over 2000 photographs, the museum's photography exhibit offers a substantial introduction to the research and visual records of life in Plovdiv and the surrounding regions – portraits, clothing, architecture, daily life, festivals, and other subjects. Most of the photographs are in black and white on cardboard and date from the beginning of the 20th century, and were taken by the most accomplished photographers of their day. Don't miss this on your Ethnographical Museum tour.
How to Get Tickets?
Ethnographical Museum tickets can either be purchased online or on the spot. For adults, the tickets are 6 lev, while children and students pay 2 lev. If you are going with your family, it is better to purchase the family tickets that cost 10 lev. There is a guided tour in English for 20 lev.
How To Get Around?
You can do the Ethnographical Museum tour by walking. There are many things to see and can only be enjoyed by walking, and you need to stop to admire every collection that the museum has to offer.
What Should I Wear?
There is no dress code to do Ethnographical Museum tour. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes and enjoy your time there.
Best Time to Visit
The museum can be visited at any time of the year. The Ethnographical Museum ticket booth opens at 09:00 to 18:00 and is closed on Mondays. In winter, the museum opens at 9:00 to 17:00 and is closed on Mondays. To avoid the crowds, go to the museum in the morning when it's just opened.
Will I Need a Guide?
There is no need to hire a guide for your Ethnographical Museum tour because there are enough informations on the internet about it. However, if you want to learn about the museum better there are English speaking guides available in the museum.
How To Get There?
The best way to go to the museum is by taxi. From your location, order the Taxi from the companies that offer the best deals and wait for it. Generally taking the taxi that is already waiting will cost you more (sometimes up to 5-times more) avoid them or ask for a flat price that fits you! Learn who offers best prices from the locals who often use taxis. Most taxi drivers know the location of the museum.
It is forbidden to eat or drink in the museum. You are also not allowed to use cameras with flash.