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The Varna Naval Museum has both indoor as well as outdoor exhibition of over 100,000 exhibits which attracts a large number of visitors interested in the naval history of Bulgaria. The exhibits include ancient anchors, sailors’ and officers’ uniforms, figure heads, flags and insignia, anti-ship mines, cannons and a huge variety of military hardware including helicopters and missiles in all shapes and sizes. There are also a large number of photographs of various artifacts in the museum.
Naval Museum History
After the foundation of the Bulgarian Navy in 1879, the Russian naval officers provided the initiative to collect marine antiques in Bulgaria. The Marine Museum as it was initially known was formally inaugurated in 1923. In the year 1955 as it passed under the authority of the Ministry of Defense it was called Naval Museum. Due to space limitations the Naval Museum features its exhibits in two buildings.
General Information about the Museum Exposition
The exposition in the main building covers a total area of about 416 sq. m. It extends to 11 showrooms and is devoted to the history of the Bulgarian Navy. Models of the Bulgarian battle ships, original torpedoes and a collection of lighthouse optics are on display on two floors. A special showroom is also dedicated to the Bulgarian Navy’s participation and glorious victory in the Balkan War during 1912-1913 when the torpedo-boat Druzki successfully attacked the Turkish cruiser Hamidie on 21 November 1912.
The entire collection of exhibits is on show in 12 different halls. The museum traces the entire maritime history of the region from the ancient past to the present. Probably the most valuable exhibit of all is the Drazki torpedo boat which earned its fame by sinking the Turkish cruiser Hamidie during the First Balkan War in 1912. This boat is the only one of its kind to be preserved till the present day.
An Open-Air Exposition
The open-air exposition features guns from the coast guard system, a working lighthouse from the port of Varna, a working periscope from a submarine and the sailing yacht Kor Karoli of Georgi Georgiev who was the first Bulgarian to sail single-handed around the world.
The indoor exhibition of the Naval museum occupies an area of 360 m². With the help of selected exhibits, pictures and documents, the history of the Bulgarian navy is shown from its foundation in 1879 to the present day. The Varna Naval Museum is truly a treasure house of information for both the casual visitor as well as the ardent fan of the history of the Bulgarian Navy.
Naval Museum Special Section
A special section is devoted to the distinguished navy man and poet Nikola Vaptzarov after whom the Naval Academy in Varna is named today. Visitors to the museum can learn about the heroic deeds of the Bulgarian Navy during the First and the Second World Wars.
Getting to the museum
The Varna Naval Museum is located in the east part of the Sea Garden just in 5 min from the Varna Aquarium.
During the summer the museum is open daily from 10.30 am till 6 pm while during the winter it works from 8.30 am till 5 pm and is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
Tickets for adults are 2.00 BGN, and for children - 1.00 BGN.
Address: Varna, Sea Garden
Phone: (+359 52) 632 018