The National Museum of Natural History, Bulgaria’s museum with the richest collection of nature, is a must-see in Sofia. It started its life with a collection of butterflies, birds and Prince Ferdinand’s personal mammal collection, and in 1936 Tsar Ferdinand’s son Tsar Boris III moved the museum to its current four-story building.
The halls on the first floor of the museum are dedicated to minerals. In addition to well-known minerals such as copper, iron, sulfur, dozens of lesser-known minerals such as magnetite, halite, nickel, zircon are exhibited. Models of the formation of minerals are also displayed in the showcases.
On the second floor there are birds, fish and fossils. It is possible to see bird species living not only in Bulgaria but also all over the world. Particularly interesting fossils include a lizard claw from America and a dinosaur bone found in a cave in Bulgaria.
It is also possible to see the largest ammonite stone found in Bulgaria. Since ammonites became extinct along with dinosaurs, it is not known what kind of creatures they were. One of these sea creatures, of which only the shells have survived to the present day, was found in 1932 in the Shumru Plateau. 84 million years old and 1.44 meters in diameter, the ammonite shell is a must-see.
In the museum you can find specimens of many sea creatures. Some of the sea creatures, such as water geckos, are preserved in glass tubes. It is exciting to be able to look at these creatures up close.
The third floor of the museum is dedicated to mammals. There are many wild animals such as antelope and cheetahs in the halls, including a bear that won a gold medal for being the largest bear in Europe at the International Hunting Fair in Berlin in 1937.
The fourth floor is dedicated to insects. In addition to butterflies and insects, the collection of Bulgarian plants, mussels and seafood is also worth seeing. I am sure you will see unusual creatures both in showcases and in glass tubes on this floor as well.
If you, like me, are curious about the history of living things, the National Museum of Natural History will definitely interest you.