Opening hours: Monday - Friday from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM and from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Our museum

The History Museum in Oryahovo is located in a two-storey building built at the end of the 19th century. It fascinates with the details of the characteristic architectural style of the period - late Secession. Entering the foyer on the first floor, one's gaze is instantly drawn to a spiral wooden staircase with Viennese refinement. Here are two permanent expositions, Archaeology and Renaissance, and a third room for temporary exhibitions. Some of the exhibits are rare and of interest to both Bulgarian and foreign visitors. Apart from this central building and the mentioned Art Gallery "Prof. Marin Varbanov and the new exhibition "Marin Varbanov. The Prince of Oryahovo" in the Ekimdzhiev House, the museum has two more sites - the Diko Iliev House Museum and the Ethnographic House. In the first site, you can see the exhibitions "Diko Iliev", "Andrei Chaprazov" and "Urban life from the 20-30s of the twentieth century", and in the second - exhibitions "Folk life and culture" and "Urban touches".

We are currently preparing the necessary project documentation for the renovation of the "Revival" exhibition - in accordance with the regulatory requirements. This includes all elements from the different way of presenting the exhibit to lighting, security and fire safety.

We are in the process of implementing the project "Bridge to New Audiences", funded by the National Culture Fund. The project includes updating the museum website and creating digital catalogues with additional information about each exhibit in the Archaeology and Renaissance halls. The catalogues will be available on interactive screens and every visitor will be able to use them according to their interests. At the same time, we will also provide audio guided tours in Bulgarian and English, and subsequently in other languages.

We are also continuing to work on the multimedia exhibition "Marin Varbanov. The Prince of Oryahovo". It is now available in Bulgarian and English, but our wish is to have it in French and Chinese. Creating new promotional materials is also a priority for us.

History of the museum

The Beginning

The beginning of museum work in Oryahovo dates back to the end of 1928, when a museum collection with materials from the past was opened at the Community Centre "Nadejda". With the foundation of the Oryahovo District Archaeological Society on 15 February 1939, important changes took place. The Society took over the care of the existing collection and transformed it into the Oryahovo District Museum. The statute of the newly founded archaeological society was approved by the Ministry of National Education by Order No. 767 of 16 March 1939. Nikola Kotsev was appointed as the first curator of the museum. The museum was housed in a room allocated by the Director of the Promysary. To enrich its collection, appeals for the handing over of antiquities were periodically published with the assurance that they would be preserved, arranged and studied. As a personal example, members of the Archaeological Society's Board of Directors themselves made the first donations. A teacher is appointed for each village as a Society "observer" or "correspondent" on a voluntary basis to report any old object found and to see that it is collected in time for the "museum collections". Thanks to Nikola Kotsev's tireless efforts, the museum is establishing itself with great authority. The first exposition was arranged in 1941. The article by the Bukyov teacher Nikola Statelov in the local newspaper Danube Tribune gives an idea of its contents and distribution. The written lines reflect admiration for the diligence of the curator Nikola Kotsev, who managed to systematize and present the donated museum objects in an appropriate way.

Through the years

From 1944 to 1959, according to the administrative division of the country, the museum was a district museum. In the documents preserved from this period, the names Okolieski Folk Museum, Oryahovski Okolieski Museum and Okolieski Regional Museum - town of Oryahov are found. Oryahovo. Nikola Kotsev continues to work tirelessly there. In the beginning the exhibits were arranged in one of the rooms of the gymnasium, and later it was housed in a private house. A new period began with the purchase of a beautiful building in 1954, intended for the museum's needs. Three exhibition rooms were created and renovated in 1985-1987. The authors of the exposition plans in the "Archaeology" and "Revival" halls are Bogdan Nikolov and Valeria Tarashoeva from RHM - Vratsa.

In 1984 the municipality bought a two-storey Renaissance house on Cyril and Methodius Street, which was restored and in 1990 was handed over to the Historical Museum. The exposition "Folk life and culture" is the work of Yordanka Mankova from the RHM - Vratsa.

The Art Gallery "Prof. Marin Varbanov" was established in 1986 with the opening of a permanent collection of paintings by Oryahovo artists. Since 2008, its exhibitions are exhibited in a spacious hall, part of the administrative building of Oryahovo Municipality.

Since 1994 the newly opened house-museum "Diko Iliev" with a thematic-exhibition plan by Yordanka Mankova has been under the management of the museum. It was destroyed by a landslide in 2006. The temporary exposition about Diko Iliev is arranged in the Ethnographic House. In 2009, a new exhibition was opened. In 2009, the Municipal Council decided to make a house located next to the town square a museum of the composer. After renovation in 2018, it opened its doors to visitors as the Diko Iliev and Wind Music House Museum.

For its 50th anniversary, the museum was awarded the Order of Cyril and Methodius - second degree

Nowadays the museum team strives to build on what has been created over the years. The museum continues confidently in its mission to preserve historical memory and to be dedicated to the society for which it was created.