Museum of Mosaics in the town of Devnya

Bulgarian sights
Location:  Varna Region, Devnya

The Museum of Mosaics is located in the town of Devnya, Varna Region, at about 33 km west of Varna city and approximately 415 km of the capital Sofia city.

This is a "in situ"/ site / museum and it is housed in a specially constructed building aiming to preserve archaeological findings. During excavations in 1976 here, a large Roman building with magnificent mosaics was discovered, on the foundations of which the museum designed by architect Kamen Goranov was built.

The ancient building dates back to the reign of Emperor Constantine I the Great - the end of III - beginning of IV century. The building represented a town house (villa urbana) and occupied a whole neighborhood in the Roman city Martianopolis - one of the largest Roman cities in that part of the empire.

Five of the rooms of the building and porch /a hall with columns/ are covered with colorful mosaics - one of the best examples of Roman mosaic art of that period found in Bulgaria. Three of these mosaics are displayed in the museum in the rooms where they were found, and the remaining, after partial restoration and preservation, were transferred to a new carrier basis.

The mosaics are made of small pebbles - cubes of marble, limestone, clay and coloured glass in 16 colors. They depict mainly personages and scenes from the Greek and Roman mythology, exotic animals and birds, floral and geometric motifs.


The mosaic "Gorgon Medusa" that covers the living room floor, depicts goddess Pallas Athena's shield, decorated with the severed head of the Gorgon Medusa. The purpose of this image was to protect people from evil and to petrify offenders with its terrifying look and chilling sight.

The floor of the bedroom in the building is covered with another beautiful mosaic - "Satyr and Antiope", illustrating the love story of the supreme Greek god Zeus and the young nymph Antiope - daughter of river god Azop.

The reception hall of the building is the largest room, covered with mosaic. One of the central panels of the mosaic "Ganymede and the eagle"  tells the ancient Greek legend about the abduction of Ganymede, the most beautiful mortal in the Greek mythology. It is the only mosaic with this plot found in Bulgaria.

The mosaic "Seasons" depicting the allegories of the four seasons with their characteristic attributes, covers the floor of the women's room in the house. The bust of autumn shown as a young woman with a gold dress is still preserved.

Another mosaic, known as the "Pannonian volute" was discovered during excavations in the eastern Martianopolis in a building, which was probably an old-Christian basilica. The decoration of the mosaic is composed of repeating geometric patterns in four colors.

You can learn more about the exhibits if you take part in  the guided tour and the talk. Information materials and souvenirs are also sold in the museum.

The Museum of mosaics is included in the guidebook "Unique museums in Bulgaria" and in the list of 100 national tourist sites, where it is placed under № 10. The museum has a stamp as well.


The Museum of mosaics is easily accesible as it is located in the town of Devnya. It is situated on 73 Saedinenie Str and is open to visitors during the period from May to September - every day from 10 am to 16 pm, and in the period from October to April - every weekday from 10 am to 16 pm.


Visitors can take advantage of the several hotels and guest houses in Devnya which offer excellent accommodation conditions. The close proximity to the regional center Varna also suggests excellent accommodation options.

Sources: http://www.tourism-bg.nethttp://bulgariatravel.org

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