Museum History

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In 1907 in the town of Balchik a tomb of a Roman physician-priest from the 2nd century was discovered. This is the richest mausoleum found on the territory of Bulgaria with as many monuments dedicated to medicine and ritual practices. The discovery of the tomb prompted the local leadership to the idea of creating a museum. For two years the finds were kept in the treasury of the municipality. The Varna Archaeological Society /VAD/ made several attempts to hand them over to the Varna Museum. The then mayor of Balchik, Zadgorski, refused, citing the fact that a museum would be established in the town.

It was only in 1912 that it was decided to open a branch of the VAD in Balchik and to draw up regulations for its work. According to the history of museum work in Bulgaria, this ranks Balchik among the pioneers in museum work in the country. Despite the efforts and the great desire to create an independent museum, the artifacts from the tomb were taken by the Varna Archaeological Society and became part of its exposition.

Макет на гробница на лекар-жрец
Model of a tomb from the 2nd century
Бронзов кратер

The first museum-gallery in Balchik was established in 1937, when the town was under Romanian occupation. The building is located in the seaside area and contains interesting collections. It lasted until 1940, when the Craiova Agreement returned Southern Dobrudzha to Bulgaria. All the exhibits from the museum and gallery were loaded on the ship Oitus and exported to Romania.

Първият музей - галерия
The first museum – gallery

On October 20, 1961 the first historical and archaeological museum collection in Balchik was established in a building located on the 21st of September Square. It was built in 1907 by an Austrian architect for municipal and district administration. In 1928, the facade was reconstructed according to the design of the Romanian architect Henrietta Delavranca-Zhiburi. Since 1959 the building has been used as a community centre and town library. A few years later, in 1969, it received the status of a state museum. Several departments were established. These incuded  “Archaeology,” “Ethnography,” “Renaissance,” “History of Capitalism and the Revolutionary Workers’ Movement,” “Socialist Construction,” and “Art Department.” The Departments of Ethnography and Renaissance are housed in separate buildings.

Проект на архитект Делавранча
Project by architect Delavrancha
Градски исторически музей
Town History Museum

A cartoon gallery with a permanent exposition was set up, which is housed in a separate building on “Cherno More” Str. Established in 1979, it gathers in its collection works by famous Bulgarian and foreign cartoonists such as Tenyo Pindarev, Asen Grozev, Lyubo Marinov, Herald Kretschmar and others. The Cartoon Gallery lasted until 1987 and its collection became part of the Art Gallery’s collection.

Галерия на карикатурата
Cartoon Gallery

The Historical Museum had 5 183 archival pieces when it was established. Today they reach 20 000.

The Ethnographic House, the Art Gallery, the Mutual School and Teketo in the village of Obrochishte are under the management of the History Museum.