Museum National Revival and Constituent Assembly

The museum National Revival and Constituent Assembly is housed in one of the most representative buildings in the town, the work of the grand master of the Bulgarian architecture - Kolyu Ficheto. It opened on November 16, 1985. With extremely rich documentary and artistic material and exhibits is illustrated the material and spiritual culture of the population of the Turnovo region on an area of 3600 sq. m. through the National Revival and the struggles for national liberation.
The exposition is arranged on a high scientific and professional level. It attracts many visitors from Bulgaria and from abroad. The lasting interest rests on the great number of original exhibits, confirming the evolved subjects. The contact with them enriches the knowledge of the time, the events and the personalities from that period. Many of the exhibits are unique. Among them is the rich collection of icons and woodcarvings from the Tryavna art school, icons of Stanislaw Dospevski (he studied at the Moscow Art School and the Imperial Academy of Art in St. Petersburg and the icons of the Munich-trained artist Nicolay Pavlovich. Also of interest is the hand made golden laced shroud, dating from 1569 and the iron safe of the Preobrazhenski Monastery - one of the major spiritual centers in the Revival period, which has given shelter to many revolutionaries. Other items of interest are the paper icons from the monastery of Hilendar, brought by pilgrims.
Of extreme interest are the plaster models made by the friend of the Museum in the town - Leon Philipov. They are testimony for the rich architectural heritage of Turnovo and Arbanassi. Many of the recreated buildings and architectural details do not exist any more and only the models remind us of them.
Among the many objects in the hall, dedicated to the economic development of Turnovo and the region are the wooden chest-safe of Kolyu Ficheto, made by himself, the banner of the Baker's guild from 1876,  the Berat  (permission) of the Turnovo merchants Atanas Michailov and the through of the famous Turnovo tanner Roussi  Industriata, made of a whole tree.
Original objects in the hall of National liberation struggles are the Firemen declaring the Independent Bulgarian Church (28.02.1879), the vestments and ritual church vessels of the metropolitan Panaret Rashev, books and school appliances seals and documents concerning the activities of the first Bulgarian reading clubs.
Along with the original arms - riffles, pistols, swords of participants in plots, revolts and uprisings here is the map of European Turkey used in 1876 by Stefan Stambolov; two seals of the Bulgarian Revolution Central Committee, the photos of Vassil Levski (signed), of Hristo Botev and his family and of other revolutionaries.
Of interest are the oration, the deacon's vestment of Vassil Levski as well as the personal belongings of Ivanka Boteva. In the museum also are displayed the battle equipment of Russian soldiers and Bulgarian volunteers. The attention of the visitor is attracted by the banner with which the population of Turnovo welcomed the Russian soldiers on July 7, 1877 and the wreaths presented to them by the women's societies in Svishtov and Turnovo. Shown is also the protocol, 25.7.1877 for the formation of the Bulgarian standing army.
There is a special hall dedicated to the life and the work of Stefan Stambolov. This hall is a prelude to a future museum of Stefan Stambolov.
The building of the Museum is connected with many historical events and personalities. Here on February 10, 1879 opened and set the first Bulgarian Parliament. It created the basic law of the country - the Turnovo Constitution. Among the original exhibits are the bell of the Constituent Assembly, which was used to restore order; the chair occupied by the Russian commissar Prince Dondukoff-Korsakoff and the emissary Pertef effendi; the Draft; the Report; the minutes of the National Assembly and the first copies of the Turnovo Constitution.
The contact with the unique objects in the museum National Revival and Constituent Assembly reminds us of one of the most dramatic and glorious period of the Bulgarian history.

TEXT: Regional Museum of History - Veliko Turnovo