Bulgaria - Northern Bulgaria

The town of Pleven is situated in the middle part of the Danube hilly lowland, 160 km from the capital – Sofia, 320 km from the Black Sea and 30 km south from the Danube River. The history of the town and the region dates to thousands of years ago. The earliest evidence of human presence in the region is related to the end of the 5th millennium BC. At the beginning of the new era, these lands became part of the Roman Empire.

The Roman Road station of Storgozia, situated by the present day’s location of Pleven, and later a fortress with the same name, was constructed on the road from the Roman town Ulpia Escus (nowadays its remains are situated by the village of Gigen) to Philipopolis (nowadays’ Plovdiv). According to an Italian project, the historical museum is housed in an impressive two-storey building – a monument of the culture built for cantonment in 1884 – 1888. The museum expositions occupy 24 halls with an area of 7,000 square meters in the building and a park with an open exposition with an area of 37 dca. The Archaeology exposition includes exponents of Prehistory, the Roman Age and the Bulgarian Middle Ages. Among the most attractive are collections of flint labour tools from 50 – 45 thousand BC, an original residence of the 5 thousand BC, a copy of the Valchitran Golden Treasure, etc.

The exposition in the Ethnography section presents the material and spiritual culture in Pleven and the nearby settlements – traditional lodgings, crafts, festal costumes and jewels of the 19th and the 20th centuries. The Revival section contains valuable documents and articles from the Age of Bulgarian Revival, and the Contemporary History section traces the development of industry and culture in Pleven after the Liberation in 1878. The Regional Historical Museum in Pleven also keeps an exposition dedicated to nature, which includes samples from the local nature, as well as a petrified thigh bone of Archidiscodon – a prehistoric animal from the group of elephant-like animals that lived on our lands during the Pliocene Age before 3.5 – 4 million years. One of the most attractive museum halls is dedicated to the opera singer Gena Dimitrova (1941 – 2005), born in the Pleven village of Beglizh. Here, one can see a lot of personal belongings of the opera queen, donated to the museum by her family, as well as originals and copies of her stage costumes, in which she had sung on global scenes.

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