One of the biggest attractions for children related to the accumulation of knowledge is the Natural History Museum of Plovdiv. In it, young and old can view the extremely rich expositions, starting from minerals, through reptiles and reaching the new butterfly room, which opened only a few months ago. The museum is visited not only by local people and guests of the city, but children from nearby towns often arrive to view the exhibits through organized school trips.
In the last few months, the Museum of Natural History of Plovdiv has blossomed like a rose in early summer. The already mentioned butterfly room has been opened, which currently has 250 specimens of dozens of species and they are expected to reach 400. Beautiful specimens fly freely over the ten palm trees, dozens of flowering species, a waterfall, a creek and a bridge. Two young curators, who are responsible for the room and talk to the groups of visitors, take care of them. A walk with a lecture in the Tropic Hall lasts between 15-20 minutes and the groups will have a maximum of 10 people. Among them is one of the six specimens in the world of butterflies - OrnithopteraAlexandrae. This is the most expensive butterfly in the world, and in Plovdiv, you can see it for an absolutely symbolic price for visiting the museum, which you will find at the end of the article. You can also see the biggest beetle in the world, which, unfortunately, lives only one season.
But what else can you see in the Natural History Museum of Plovdiv? The best Plovdiv guide will tell you right away. Here are the expositions you can visit:
On an area of about 100 square meters, three sections are presented - Paleontology, Mineralogy, and Petrography. The exposition begins at the lobby of the museum, where in three windows there are fossil remains of Neogene mammals - mock-up of deinotherium, molars and tusks, hip bones. In the hall itself, Paleontology occupies 12 showcases showing fossil remains of plants and animals that inhabited the Earth in past geological eras: remnants and prints of Sigillarias, Calamites and other extinct plant species, trilobites, brachiopods, graptolites, sea lilies and sea urchins, Belemnites, Ammonoids,mussels, snails, molarsand vertebrae from Neogene mammals, mammoths, horses, wild ox, deer horns, doe horn, etc.
The Petrography section has two large showcases, where on a systematic basis are arranged various rock samples according to the way they are formed:
- intrusive (granite, syenite, gabbro, monzonite);
- effusive (rhyolite, basalt, pumice, obsidian);
- sedimentary (limestone, sandstone, tuft, chalk, conglomerate);
- metamorphic (marbles, quartzite, schists, gneiss, slate).
On the largest area is presented the Mineralogy section. Four showcases are separated on the system of minerals, divided into 12 classes and presented with a corresponding number of mineral samples from Bulgaria and abroad. In two showcases, the so-called " semi-precious and colored stones - topaz, aquamarines, beryl, amethyst, morion quartz, garnet, agate, jasper and many others from Bulgaria, Russia, Brazil, Mozambique. Six more showcases and the central part of the Geology room present the diversity of shapes, varieties and colors of the richest in South Bulgaria collection of ore and non-metallic specimens from the Rhodopes - galena, sphalerite, cleophane, pyrite, chalcopyrite, quartz, calcite, rhodochrosite, barite, anchorite and others from the Madan and Lucky regions.
The Botanica exposition begins with a color chart, reflecting the latest insights into the evolution and phylogeny of the plant world. It is the first of its kind in Bulgaria and spreads over an area of 100 square meters. The largest place in the exhibition is dedicated to the floral richness and diversity of southern Bulgaria. With herbarium materials (mostly) and color photographs, 70 species of rare endemic and relict plants are presented. With large color photos, some of the most remarkable centuries-old trees (the sycamores in the village of Belachitsa, the oak in the village of Granit, Chirpan, and others) and reserves (Chervenata Stena, Dzhendema, etc.) in southern Bulgaria are shown. Of the large number of medicinal plants in the flora of Bulgaria, in the exposition are selected some of the most popular herbs: St. John's wort, coltsfoot, cotinus, rhamnus, teucrium, valerian, common agrimony, hawthorn and others shown in herbarium specimens. In four showcases located in the middle of the hall are exhibited models of 37 species of the more widespread in Bulgaria edible and poisonous mushrooms, arranged in an ecological principle.
The beginnings of the scientific herbarium in the museum are based on a collection of about 6,400 herbarium leaves, inherited from the French College in Plovdiv and composed of materials mainly from abroad. Nowadays, the herbarium has over 18,000 leaves, distributed in three collections: "Bulgarian flora" - with about 10,000 leaves, with plants mainly originating from southern Bulgaria; "Foreign Flora" - about 4,000 leaves, and "Herbarium of V. Stribrny", also with about 4,000 leaves.
Next is the Invertebrates exposition, where you can view 147 species. There is a board of invertebrates' phylogeny and a board of protozoa, single-cell organisms (gastropods, flagellates, spores, and ciliates). Corals are represented by Sea feather, yellow gorgonian, Branch Coral, Red Coral, Coral Sponge, and others. A large group of invertebrates is crustaceans. There are 21 species in the showcase, of which the most interesting are the brown crab, the sea spider, mantis shrimp, lobster, red king crab and others.
The arachnids are displayed in a separate showcase and some of the scorpions that can be found in Bulgaria are also presented. The largest group of insects (Insecta) are represented by almost all dilutions occurring in Bulgaria, and over 1200 insects are exposed in the exhibition. A special corner is dedicated to the protected invertebrate animals represented by 11. Interesting from the exotic ones is the Goliath beetle, the largest species among the hard-shell insects spread in Equatorial Africa.
After looking at invertebrates and botanicals, we head straight to the Aquarium room. Today, the hall has 26 freshwater aquariums, inhabited by about 150 species of tropical fish, 21 species of local fish (mostly from the Maritsa River). In 2013, its renovation was completed with the installation of a 3000-liter marine aquarium. The collection includes amphibians - tritons and frogs, crustaceans and reptiles - a leatherback sea turtle, a red-eared slider, a pond turtle.
In the hall, there is a separate section called Sea bottom. Most of the exposition is occupied by the unique collection of Mollusca: snails, shells, corals, sea stars, and others - over two hundred exhibits of 150 species of organisms. The collection is collected from the shores of Angola by KostadinNedyalkov, where he worked as a zootechnician. The scientific value of the collection is determined by the fact that a large number of species have fallen, others have disappeared due to sea and ocean pollution, and due to mass destruction. The collection is the only one in Bulgaria in a number of species (280) and quantity of exhibits (4 500 pcs).
And finally, we can’t not get tothe fish. The exposition begins with an artistically craftedboard of the evolution of fish and the geographical distribution of the modern ichthyofauna. One of the lowest representatives - the sea mosquito, is shown. The actual sharks are exhibited in a spatially styled diorama, which includes the following representatives - gray shark, catshark, Black sea shark, sea angel, electric ray.
Monday-Sunday 08.30 am - 5.00 pm
Tickets: adults - 4,00BGN,students - 2,00 BGN,children up to 7 years of age - 1,00 BGN
Ticket prices for the digital planetarium: Single tickets: adults - 10,00 BGN, students - 7,00 BGN, children up to 7 years of age - 3,00 BGN
Group tickets for digital planetarium: from 5 to 50 adults - 7,00 BGN, from 5 to 50 students - 6,00 BGN.
Time of screenings at a digital planetarium: 09 am, 10.30 pm, 12:00, 1.30 pm, 3 pm.
Reservations for large groups on +359 32 633096.