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National Museum of Natural History (Sofia)
National Museum of Natural History in Sofia
Bulgaria is located just between National Art Gallery (former Royal Palace) and
Church of Saint Nicholas. It contains a descent collection of
animals, fossils, butterflies from around the World and other
curiosities. Additionally it has fossilised remains of ancient
forest in the museum's lobby discovered in the country.
The National Museum of Natural History
was established in 1889 as the Natural History Museum of Prince
Ferdinand. The exposition was opened to visitors in 1907. Acad. Dr.
Ivan Buresh, director of the museum from 1914 to 1947, made it a
modern center for zoology and botany in Bulgaria and a major part of
the Royal Institute of Natural Sciences. Between 1959 and 1965,
under the leadership of Prof. Georgi Paspalev, the museum was closed
to visitors and its exhibit area was greatly reduced. Its status is
reduced to the "Museum" section of Institute of Zoology of the
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences with the editor of the ornithologist
The building of the museum was demolished in
1944 during the Anglo-American bombing of Sofia.
Museum of Natural History was established in 1974 as an independent
institute at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. In 1995, based on
the collections of the local biology teacher Dimitar Kovachev, at
the initiative of Prof. Nikolay Spasov, the Paleontological Museum
was established in Asenovgrad, a branch of the NPM, which holds a
unique collection of fossil mammals.
addition to the specialized museum activity related to the
enrichment and maintenance of the collections, the research work of
the contributors is related to contemporary international and
national priorities in the field of biodiversity, geology, ecology
and environmental protection. Since 1989, the museum has been
publishing the scientific series "Historia naturalis bulgarica". NPM
is the seat of the non-governmental organizations Bulgarian
Ornithological Society and Bats Research and Protection Group.