The idea for the organization of European Night of Museums Cultural Initiative was launched in 2005, and the first time such an event has been organized was in Paris, France.
The organizers launched the initiative with one main purpose – to provoke the interest of more young people and families to visits museums, galleries and other cultural institutions. In order to arouse this interest, they decided to give visitors free access to one of the museums and galleries for one night.
The initiative proved to be so successful that as early as next year, other cities in France joined in and began to arrange free visits to cultural institutions for the night. Over time, cities from neighboring countries have organized the initiative and it has become clear that it is becoming something global.
In the beginning, the European Night of museums was held on different dates and once or twice a year, but when most European countries took part in the cultural initiative, it was decided the event to take place once a year around the date of International Museum Day – May 18.
Our country joined the European Night of Museums in 2005, beginning in Plovdiv. After its successful start in the city, the Night of Museums begins to take place initially in the big cities, and today the event takes place in almost all cities in the country. European Museum Night has been held in Bansko for several years now!
In the resort town, European Museum Night is celebrated by hosting various cultural events.
This year, people in Bansko and guests of the town were able to see the exposition “For those patriotic people” at the Bansko House of Arts where for the first time documents and materials were displayed for the life and activities of a whole galaxy of famous figures who once lived in the town.
According to tradition, on the night of museums, cultural institutions work with extended working hours so that anyone who wants to get acquainted with the history of Bansko and its great personalities can do it for free and at any time it is convenient.
This year the museums in Bansko that opened their doors to visitors for free were:
House-museum of Nikola Vaptsarov
During the organization of the initiative, the museum was open from 9am to 2pm and from 5pm to 11pm, and those wishing to view it were extremely many.
Nikola Vaptsarov is not only one of the most respected personalities born in Bansko, but one of the most beloved poets in Bulgaria. In the Poetry Museum’s house, visitors were able to touch on Vaptsarov’s life and work, learn about his poems, see the room in which the young Vaptsarov spent the first years of his life.
For the convenience of visitors, during the European Night of Museums in Bansko museum staff acted as guides and told little known facts about the life of Vaptsarov and his family.
Museum-house of Neophyte of Rila
Beninata House or museum-house of Neophyte of Rila worked from 9 am to 2 pm and 5 pm to 8 pm. Visitors to the museum could see every corner of the house of the great man, as well as the cellular school, and sit in the veranda and enjoy the museum exhibit that tells about the life and educaional activity of Neophyte of Rila.
Permanent icon exhibition
The permanent icon exhibition is open from 09 am to 2 pm and 5 pm to 11 pm. During the free visit, visitors were introduced to the works of zografs and icon painters from the Bansko Art School.
Spiritual and historical center „St. Paisii Hilendarski”
Spiritual and historical center “St. Paisii Hilendarski ”worked with extended working hours from 09 am to 2 pm and from 5 pm to 11 pm. Visitors were able to get familiar with the life of Paisii Hilendarski at the center. During the free tour, visitors saw the copy of Paisii Hilendarski’s cell, in which he wrote the”Slavic-Bulgarian History” and a copy of the chapel “St. Ivan Rilski ”from the Hilendar Monastery. Although the spiritual and historical center is one of the newly built buildings in Bansko, the museum is also impressive with its architecture and the priceless artifacts stored in it.
The architectural monument worked from 9 am to 2 pm and 5 pm to 11 pm. The Velyanova House is an exceptional masterpiece of Bansko architecture from the late XVIII and early XIX centuries. Given to the master Velyan Ognev, because of his unique work on the decoration of the „Saint Trinity”church, reconstructed and painted by him it in a way that is admirable today.
Visitors of the Velyanova house had the pleasure of hearing the guides’ stories, which have showed the guests all corners of the Velyanova House telling interesting stories about the home of Master Velyan Ognev.
Historical and ethnographic museum „Radonova house”
During the Night of Museums in Bansko, the Historical and Ethnographic Museum was open from 09 am to 2 pm and from 5 pm to 11 pm. At the museum, visitors were able to get acquainted with the history of the town, the life of people and get to know little-known documents, photos, objects and authentic costumes.
The European Night of Museums in Bansko has been celebrated for several years now and the trend is that every year more and more museums are included in the program. The goal of the Municipality of Bansko is to further promote the sights of the town and to familiarize its residents and guests with its history.
How can you join the European night of museums in the town of Bansko?
The only requirement is to be in the town when the cultural initiative is taking place. Because the museums involved are with extended working hours and free to visit, you can view them all or stop by the ones you really want to see.
If you want to see all the museums and not just go from museum to museum, you can ask if tours are being organized and join one of the groups accompanied by a licensed tour guide.
If you are sure that you will do fine on your own and will be able to see everything you are interested in, then you just have to take the time and take a free tour of the cultural institutions at the European Museum Night in Bansko.