The Red Flat: an immersive museum of day-to-day life in socialist Bulgaria

The Red Flat: an immersive experience of day-to-day life in socialist Bulgaria

Ever wondered what life was like for an average Bulgarian family during communism? In The Red Flat, an interactive and immersive exhibition in an authentic socialist-era apartment in central Sofia, you can do just that.

The kitchen: curiously, Bulgaria was the first Eastern Bloc country to produce Coca-Cola
The kitchen: curiously, Bulgaria was the first Eastern Bloc country to produce Coca-Cola

The Red Flat’s front door might just as well be a time portal to the 1980s. As you enter the apartment, you’re instantly teleported to the private world of the Petrovi family for an audio-guided, true-to-life journey back in time.

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8 unusual museums in Bulgaria

8 unusual museums in Bulgaria

As a land rich in history and with an astounding architectural heritage, you may have guessed correctly that Bulgaria has a lot of historical and archaeological museums. And they’re mostly quite interesting, exhibiting artifacts like the oldest worked gold in the world or incredibly elaborate Thracian treasures.

What you may not have had a clue about, though, is Bulgaria’s list of unusual museums, focusing on curious topics that reveal the country’s image in a very different way and helping you complete the big picture. From the communist red star that once stood above the former Party House to the home of Bulgarian humour and satire, kashkaval tourist presents 8 unusual museums in Bulgaria!

1. Workers of the world, unite: Socialist Art Museum, Sofia

Workers of the world, unite: Socialist Art Museum, Sofia

Workers of the world, unite: Socialist Art Museum, Sofia. Photo credit: Ivanov id, Wikipedia.

Opened in 2011, the Socialist Art Museum in Sofia’s Izgrev neighbourhood is a proper trip back in time to the five decades during which Bulgaria was a socialist republic and essentially a Soviet satellite. The museum features examples of socialist art, both on a grand scale and in smaller proportions.

In the Socialist Art Museum, Bulgarian communist leaders are lined up next to regular workers, Lenin’s head next to the huge red star which once adorned the top of the Party House in Sofia. Now, whether the red star was made of real ruby is up to you to decide…

2. Remember the milk: Yogurt Museum, Studen Izvor

Remember the milk: Yogurt Museum, Studen Izvor

Remember the milk: Yogurt Museum, Studen Izvor. Photo credit: Krasimir Mihov, Wikipedia.

Bulgaria has a worldwide reputation for the quality of its yogurt – quite deserved, in my opinion. And it’s only fair that the world’s one and only Yogurt Museum should be located in Bulgaria. The museum occupies a typical Bulgarian house from the 19th century in the tiny village of Studen Izvor west of Sofia, near the Serbian border.

Why this unusual location, you might ask? Because the village is the birthplace of Dr. Stamen Grigorov, whose discovery of the bacterium Lactobacillus bulgaricus, which plays a key role in the production of yogurt from milk. The Yogurt Museum in Studen Izvor boasts exhibits related to the history of yogurt production and consumption as well as a showcase of the entire production process.

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