Earth and Man National Museum
Earth and Man National Museum – Sofia is a state cultural institute of national importance. It performs nationwide functions such as searching, obtaining, researching, conserving and presenting minerals and mineral resources as an important part of the national natural heritage. It takes part in the carrying out of the state policy of researching and conserving the cultural heritage along with the respective state and municipal authorities. It provides methodical and other kinds of help to the museums of the national museum network.
The building of the Earth and Man National Museum was built at the end of 19th century and was the biggest building of the former military workshop (Sofia Artillery Arsenal). One of the first buildings entirely made of iron and concrete. It is declared to be an immovable cultural heritage. In 1986 it was given free of charge in order to house the Earth and Man museum. The building was restored and adapted for its new purposes.
The museum is a temple of charity, a product of generosity and patriotism. It was made entirely with donations by Bulgarian and foreign physical and juridical persons. The entire implementation of the museum, including its restoration and the adaptation of the building, was carried out with financial resources from ‘13 veka Balgariya’ (‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’) National Donation Fund. In December 2014 77% of the samples in the museum’s main fund were obtained thanks to donations by 912 Bulgarian and foreign donators.
The most significant in scientific and cultural aspect is the “Giant crystals from Brazil” collection donated in 1985 by Iliya Delev.
The materials in the museum are divided into 7 sections. The ‘Mineral Resources of Bulgaria’ section preserves samples from around 400 Bulgarian (ore) deposits. The ‘Minerals of the Earth’ exposition is the richest systematic collection on the Balkans that includes 7600 samples of 1569 mineral species of the 4200 known to science. ‘Minerals of Bulgaria’ is the fullest collection of Bulgarian minerals and contains 4191 samples. ‘Precious and decorative stones’ has 2668 samples of all kinds of precious stones.
Earth and Man National Museum initiates a number of events – celebrations of different holidays, educational programs, activities for students and others.