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Museum of Christian Art, Sofia

The Museum of Christian Art, a department of the National Gallery, is one of the most impressive places in Bulgaria. It is located in the crypt of the St. Alexander Nevski temple-monument in the center of the city of Sofia. The exhibition presents the development of the Christian art on the Bulgarian lands from the official Christianization of the Roman Empire in the 4th century to the Bulgarian National Revival in the 18-19th century. This is the most complete collection of such kind and has no other like it in the country. The collection contains over 2 000 extremely valuable exhibits – unique ancient icons, admirable works of some of the most famous Bulgarian icon painters, frescoes fragments, manuscripts, church plates, etc.

The earliest exhibit is a frescoe fragment with the image of a saint from 4-5 th century from an early-Christian basilica in the village of Khan Krum, Shumen district, and the earliest icon on a tree dates back to the end of the 11th century, which is the earliest one in the country. It is two-sided – on one side is Christ Pantocrator, and on the other one is the Christ Crucifixion. Here you can see more of unique works such as: "St. Nikolay with life scenes" from Nessebar /12-13 c./, "Christ Pantocrator" from Nesebar /13 c./, "Virgin Mary the Lady of Life" from Nesebar /1270-1280/, "Archangelic fair" from Bachkovo Monastery /1340s/ and many others. You will enjoy the remarkable works of the famous icon-painters: Simeon Tsonyuv, Dimitar Kanchov and Krastyu Zahariev from the Tryavna School, Dimitar Zograf, Zahari Zograf and Nikola Obrazopisov from the Samokov School, authors from the Debar and Bansko schools, as well as famous masters from Sveta Gora, Edirne, Corfu and others.

The exhibits are owned by the National Gallery, the National Museum of History, the National Archaeological Institute with Museum at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the National Historical and Archaeological Church Museum, the museums in the cities of Nesebar, Shumen, Ruse, Veliko Tarnovo, Plovdiv, also the Rila Monastery, Bachkovo Monastery, Preobrazhenski Monastery, Etropole Monastery and other monasteries.

Useful information

Museum of Christian Art
Sofia, Alexander Nevski Sq., the crypt of the St. Alexander Nevski temple-monument
Tel.: +359 2 981 57 75, e-mail:, website:

Working hours:
Tuesday – Sunday: 10.00 – 18.00 /ticket office: until 17.30/, day off – Monday
Holidays during the year: the official holidays in Bulgaria, Christmas, New Year and Easter.
Free entrance for: children up to the age of 12, physically disabled visitors, students from art schools, museum and gallery employees, journalists, members of UBA, ICOM, ICOMOS, AIAP, AICA.

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