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24.04.2014 Sofia central mineral baths to become city history museum

Olga Kotoman

The Sofia central mineral baths will be turned into a city history museum. The appearance of the building and its central entrance will be preserved, and the architectural ornaments on the facades will be restored. The museum to be opened on September 17th, on the holiday of Sofia.

The museums exhibits will reveal the history of the city from antiquity. The exhibition halls will be arranged on two floors and will present the life in the capital. The visitors will have opportunity to see 120 000 exhibits that will be located on an area of about 7 900 sq.m. on four levels. Among them are the desk of Stefan Stambolov given to him as a present by Bismarck, a huge lounge clock, a gift from Queen Victoria in 1893 to Prince Ferdinand on the occasion of celebration his wedding with Maria Luisa, an old wooden cabinet from the home of Ivan Geshov, and the luxurious golden chariot of the Queen of France Marie Antoinette, which arrived from Versailles for the wedding of Prince Ferdinand.

The central mineral baths is a cultural monument of national importance. It was built under a project of architect Petko Momtchilov and Yordan Milanov on the site of former Turkish baths, which have been destroyed. The building was designed in Secession style, but with typical Bulgarian, Byzantine and overall Eastern Orthodox ornamental elements by the artist Haralampi Tachev. Complete renovation of the building that was constructed in 1913 has never been done. The roof has been repaired and the facade has been restored under the project Beautiful Bulgaria.

The expected date for opening of the museum is September 17th with an exhibition dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the mineral baths.

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