Archaeological Museum of Plovdiv welcomes visitors for two centuries. More than 100,000 exhibits are waiting for you to reveal their secrets between the walls of the building

Undoubtedly, Plovdiv is a charming town that builds its beauty on the millennial layers of history. It’s completely expected that the city is rich in archaeological finds that continue to be revealed even today. It is for this reason that the Plovdiv online guide this time will tell you the history of the Archaeological Museum of Plovdiv.

Although some of the most beautiful mosaics found on the territory of Plovdiv can be seen in the Little and Big Basilicas, the Plovdiv Regional Archaeological Museum has something to surprise you with and introduce you to. It is one of the first cultural institutions in Bulgaria that arose at the end of the 19th century, immediately after the Liberation of the country in 1878. The idea for the establishment of a museum in Plovdiv was by the prominent Bulgarian Revivalist, scholar and statesman YoakimGruev who from May 20, 1879 until 23 November 1884 was the director of the National Enlightenment in Eastern Rumelia. It is precisely because of this that it is believed that the birth of the museum dates back to 1879, since it had begun to collect the first monuments from the library of the Directorate of the Main Enlightenment of Eastern Rumelia. But even before YoakimGruev, the official initiator for "the creation and organization of a Museum, but also a National Library in Philippopolis" is Emmanuel NikolovBogoridi, the son of General Governor Al. Bogoridi whose initiative was documented in writing on June 12, 1879. An earlier document by N. M.Shishedzhiev dated March 12, 1879 at the earliest of all poses the question "as a first step for the foundation of a Bulgarian Museum".

Archaeological Museum - Plovdiv has one of the richest collections containing about 100,000 exhibits, works of human art, from the Paleolithic era to the XV century. During the period of the Eneolithic and Bronze Age (V - I millennium BC) on the territory in the present-day city of Plovdiv there were several settlements situated near the seven rock hills and the Maritsa River, which provided the necessary conditions for living. In the second half of the first millennium BC, of the Three Hills - today's NebetTepe, Dzhambaztepe and Taksimtepe - a significant Thracian settlement whichoccurred and developed in the 4th century BC grew into a city with solid fortification walls, street flooring and sewers. The growth of the Thracian settlement in a town follows the regularities of the settlement development in Thrace and is accompanied by the emergence and the formation of a fortified royal center (turizis), situated on NebetTepe.

The centuries-long existence and development of the city in ancient times was accompanied by a change of its name during the different historical eras. From the middle of the 4th century BCis the name of Poniropolis, mentioned by the ancient Greek historian Theoppho, in connection with the campaigns of Philip II of Macedonia (359-336). The same name of the city is also used in Pliny and Plutarch's written records.

Philippopolis is the name of the city, which is widely used in the written tradition. The earliest mention of this name dates back to the 2nd century BC in connection with the campaign of Philip V (220 - 179) in Thrace, described by Polebius. The name Philippopolis was later imposed and widely mentioned in the historical chronicles of the Roman and early Byzantine historians: Tacitus, Lucian, Ptolemy, Plutarch, Dexip and Jordanes. Pulpudeva and Evmolpia are also mentioned in the written tradition as the name of the city.


In the 3rd century BC, a turiziswas built on the Nebetteperockpeak in which the main altar of the city was formed, made of clay. On the surface of the altar are coins depicted with the images of the main deity of the city - Heracles and the sacred animal - bull, as well as the name (eponymous) of the city - Odrysa.


During the Roman rule (I-IV c. AD), Philippopolis became the largest ancient city (metropolis) in the province of Thrace. Today, most of the public buildings - the theater, the stadium (gathering about 30,000 people), the forum, several early Christian basilicas, the synagogue, the public baths are discovered and explored.

If you want to explore the unique exhibits at the Archaeological Museum of Plovdiv, you can do it at 1 Saedinenie Square in the following working hours:




Tuesday - Saturday (including)

09:30 a.m. - 17:00 p.m.



Tuesday - Sunday 

10:00 a.m. - 18:00 p.m.

MONDAY - closed


1. For Bulgarians and foreigners - 5.00 BGN
2. For visitors with special needs and children up to 7 years - free

Prices of the guided tours


1. Lecture in Bulgarian - 10 BGN

2. Lecture in English    - 30 BGN

Photos: Archeological Museum