Founded in 1953, the museum is located in the town centre. Its building is among the few in Bulgaria especially designed to be a museum. It is part of the programme 100 National Tourist Sites.
Here you can discover much about the life of Thracians in the North-West of Bulgaria, the treasure of Rogozen and findings from the Mogilan Mound (Mogilanska Mogila).
The museum also features some special exhibitions such as:
- Vratsa and Region During the First and Second Bulgarian Empire
- Bulgaria During the National Revival on the participation in the first rebellions of the church independence movement.
- Botev and his Troop
- Ethnographic Complex Saint Sophronius of Vratsa
Ethnographic Complex Saint Sophronius of Vratsa
Set up between 1972 and 1987 in the town centre, the complex, part of the Vratsa History Museum, includes three houses in the traditional National Revival style and the Ascension School, near the temple Saint Sophronius Bishop of Vratsa.
The complex features the lifestyle, crafts and culture of the local population between the end of the 19th and the middle of the 20th century. The temple has an important collection of icons, some of which by the famous painters Zahari Zograf and Dimitar Zograf and the masters of the school of Debar.
In the house of Dimitraki Hadzhitoshev, one of the town’s most well-to-do people at the time, you can see the interior of a sumptuous urban house from the 19th century. The Child’s World exhibition is hosted in the Grigoriya Naydenov’s house. The house of Ivan Zambin presents the crafts typical for this region: goldsmithery, winegrowing and wine making, sericulture and natural silk manufacturing. On display in the yard are agricultural tools from 18th and 19th century, and in an annex you can take a look at some traditional means of transportation produced in Vratsa.
In the school’s exhibition areas you can find traditional clothes, music instruments and other elements of lifestyle.
The Harbinger Complex
Located at the foot of the Balkan, the complex includes a tourist house, known as the Mountain Hut, and the monument of the Harbinger of Freedom. The Hut is accessible by 463 stone steps starting at the centre of Vratsa. It was completed in 1926 thanks to the local population’s voluntary work. Adjacent to it is the Harbinger of Freedom monument, where each Sunday you can hear the sounds of a military horn, a reenactment of the signal the Russian soldier Petlak gave on 9th November 1877 to announce the liberation of Vratsa.
The Ledenika Cave is located within the Vratsa Balkan National Park, a mere 16 km away from Vratsa. Its name is related to the icy stalagmites, stalactites and stalagnates formed in the winter near the entry (led is the Bulgarian word for ice).
The cave was made accessible in 1961 and entirely overhauled in 2005. It is the home of 53 animal species including Pheggomisetes globiceps lakatnicensis, an insect so fully adapted to darkness that its exposure to light is lethal.
Inside the cave is a small lake which legends say would grant the wish of anyone who puts his hand in the water.
Peak Okoltshitsa, also known as Peak Vola, is located within the Hristo Botev National Park, 20 km away from Vratsa. This is where the last fight of Botev’s troop occurred on 2nd June 1876, which was also the last battle to crush the April Uprising.
Between 1936 and 1939, a 35-meter monument with a cross was erected to commemorate the feat of Hristo Botev and his troop.
Each year on 2nd June, various activities are organised at the peak to commemorate the life and death of Hristo Botev and troop. The reenactment of the 1876 events by locals is always part of the yearly celebrations to honour the efforts and achievements of the 19th century national freedom movement.
Visit http://www.vratza.bg/? to discover other places of interest in Vratsa.
The Meshchii Tower
The Meshchii Tower is one of Vratsa’s symbols. It is located next to the community town hall.
Historic evidence shows that its construction took place in the 16th century. It served residential and defence purposes for the local aristocrats (ayani). At the end of the 19th century, it was revamped to be a clocktower. The building was reconstructed in 2006.
The tower has the form of a 13.4 meter tall regular stone prysm. It consists of a ground floor and three overground floors. The ground floor was used as a storage facility, the two floors above were residential and the last one was for defence.
Kurtpashov’s Tower is located at the South-West end of Hristo Botev Square, in front of the Vratsa History Museum. It is a fortification facility from the Middle Ages, following the same construction tradition as the donjon towers. According to expert estimations, the tower was built in the 17th century to be the residence of a local feudal lord, but some of its elements and design point at fortress construction traditions inherited from the late Bulgarian Middle Age. The tower consists of an underground floor, a ground floor, and two overground floors, primarily with residential purposes. It has been open for visitors since 2012.