Ethnographic Museum

Opening Hours

October – May: 10.00 – 17.00 (Saturday and Sunday closed)
SummerJune – September: 10.00 – 17.00 (Monday closed)


Varna, 22 “Panagyurishte” Str.
+359 52/ 630 588
CuratorTatiana Shtereva

About the museum

The Ethnographic Museum in Varna is among the few specialized ethnographic museums in Bulgaria. It is housed in a revival house built around 1860. It exhibits the great diversity in the culture and lifestyle of the people of the Varna region from the second half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. The exhibition is the work of arch. Kamen Goranov, artist - Associate Professor Asen Stoychev and ethnographers Maria Nikolova and Georgi Valkov.

The museum exhibits demonstrations of the main livelihoods of the Varna Bulgarians - agriculture, animal husbandry, beekeeping, fishing, viticulture and crafts, such as cooperage, coppersmithing, furriers and tailoring.

An interesting artifact in the exhibition is a small plow "Dolmeja", which was used for plowing until the beginning of the 20th century. Harvesting with Bulgarians is usually done with a sickle and a sickle, as it is done on a threshing machine and using dikanya, yuvarlak, various types of pitchforks, shovels and winnowing nets, rakes, winnowing nets (sieves). Vessels for storing grain and those for making bread are also shown - chit, kuhel, night (wooden trough), bread shovels.

In the exhibition of the museum, there are separate corners for two typical labor customs concerning sowing and harvesting. The items related to animal husbandry - most often shepherding - are vessels for processing and storing milk (buckets and plungers, cups, spoons, scoops). The shepherd's accessories are also shown - yamurluk (upper outer garment - type "cape"), ula (leather bag), gaga (a long stick with a snake-shaped end).

Beekeeping is represented - quite an old occupation of the Bulgarians. Until the advent of modern beehives, hollow logs or cone-shaped "grasses" were used, woven from willow or vine sticks and plastered with a mixture of clay, cow dung and wood ash. A hood of straw, fern, sprigs of leaves is placed over them.

Fishing is a livelihood of primary economic importance for Bulgarians along the Black Sea. The exposition shows tools used for river fishing and for fishing in the Black Sea - a bag (a mesh bag with a pointed bottom), a blind basket, a winter (a system of blind baskets), various types of nets, metal and glass buoys for supporting the nets at water level, needles for knitting fishing nets.

Viticulture is among the oldest livelihoods of Bulgarians. On display are cutting tools for processing the vines and vessels of different sizes - apollinaire, caduceus. The wine is stored in larger or smaller barrels.

One can see exhibits such as menzis, gyums, jugs, clothes, spindles and hurkas, crickets.

On the second floor of the museum, folk costumes are displayed, which give an idea of the demographic profile of the Varna region. The clothing of the population of Varna is distinguished by its great diversity due to the complex migration processes that took place in the first decades of and at the end of the 19th century - local population and immigrants from Thrace, Asia Minor and Macedonia.

The library of the Ethnographic Museum has over 1,600 books and albums, as well as periodicals: "Bulgarian Ethnography", "Bulgarian Folklore", "Historical Review", "Centuries", "Art", "Problems of Culture", foreign editions in Russian, Serbian, Polish, German.

This online platform was developed under the project  № BGCULTURE-1.001-0005-C01 “Developing the Varna Regional Museum of History as a Multifunctional Public Space for Science, Art, Culture and Communication”, funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants and Norway Grants 2014-2021, Programme PA14 Cultural Entrepreneurship, Heritage and Cooperation. Varna Regional Museum of History is fully responsible for the content of the of the online platform and under no circumstances can be assumed that this online platform reflects the official opinion of the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area and the Operator of the   Programme PA14 Cultural Entrepreneurship, Heritage and Cooperation.

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