Sofia archaeological museum is one of the city’s undisputed highlights.
Hosted in a 16th Century mosque, it offers a comprehensive view of the material evidence of the long human history in the region.
The exposition starts with the Prehistory Hall, which showcases prehistoric tools found in caves around Bulgaria, as well as some rather memorable cult figures.
But the museum is most famous for its Vault Room, where several collections of Thracian gold and silver objects, commonly called “treasures”, are on display.
Don’t miss viewing the Valcitran treasure, a collection of 13 ritual vessels of late Bronze Age made from over 12 kg of pure gold.
Check out the Lukovit silver treasure, as well as more recent archeological discoveries, such as a golden funeral mask and a bronze head portrait, many believe to be of the Thracian King Sevt III.
A copy of the mysterious Madara horseman, carved into a rock near Shumen by an 8th Century Bulgarian ruler, will be hard to miss. The horseman is depicted on the current Bulgarian coins.
Completed around 1395, the building that houses the museum was for many years Sofia’s biggest mosque.
The minaret (tall spire) of the mosque was destroyed in a strong earthquake in the 19th Century when the building ceased its religious function.
Post-Independence, the building served as a hospital and a printing house. In 1892, it became the home of the newly established National Archaeological museum.