Museum of Traditional Crafts and Applied Arts in Troyan

The Museum of Traditional Crafts and Applied Arts in Troyan is unique for the country and is the only one in whose expositions are displayed in details the craft products as well as the tools, the different shapes and the functional purpose of the products and the various decoration techniques.

It is housed in the first post-liberation public building in Troyan, built in 1881 by Usta Gencho Kanev of Tryavna - at first it was used as a school, and later as a town hall.

In ten halls are presented exhibits of the most specific Troyan crafts - pottery, forest craft, making of wine vessels, wood-carving, blacksmithing, coppersmithing, weaving, etc.

The Troyan poterry has a central place in the exhibition and is  located on the entire first floor of the museum. Its historical development is chronologically presented from the ceramic Neolith to the National Revival. The origin and development of the Troyan ceramic pattern is also traced till the formation of the Troyan ceramic school. A special place is dedicated to the painted with colored engobe ceramics, influenced by the frescoes of Zachary Zograf in the Troyan Monastery, as well as the initial steps of the Troyan pottery school and the ceramics made by the students of the school.

The town craftsmen were also famous for their wood-work. The gorianska (mountain dwellers’) axe, the polishing axe, the drill and the chisel for spoons were the instruments with which the mountain dwellers created their utilitarian objects for everyday use. They often used the woodturning lathe, initially put in motion by foot, later on – the belt-driven lathe.The church wood-carving is among their masterpieces, a magic creation of skill and imagination.

In the hall of woodcarving and icon-painting the visitors can see replicas of the iconostasis in the Troyan monastery and in the chapel “St. Nikola”. Icon-painting is represented by home painted icons – single ons, diastases and triptychs, also and by the work of the professional icon-painter Pencho h. Naydenov(1800-1886 г.).

In the hall dedicated to the metalworking crafts one can get the idea about the work of the blacksmiths, the coppersmiths, the goldsmiths and the gunsmiths.The masters blacksmiths produced mostly items for everyday use and agricultural instruments.The goldsmithing craft was presented with fewer masters in Troyan and on the market shop of Novo Selo.

The displayed works of traditional weaving are used as items of clothing, for decoration of the house, for practical everyday use. These were goat’s hair rugs, multicolored tufted rugs, fleecy rugs, the carpet type of rugs with “knife motives”. Here, the visitors can see and items produced by masters of specific textile craft calleld mutafchiistvo( items made of goat’s hair rugs and bags). It was closely related with the transport. The craftsmen produced ropes, sacks, saddlebags and horse cloths made of goat’s fur on a vertical loom.

The loom for belts  is the focal point of this hall.The woman’s belt (zunitsa) is one of the most typical belts, woven in compliance with an ancient technology, called “ na kori” (in sheets), typical or North Bulgaria and the region of  the Balkan mountains. The districts of Pleven and Lovech are the centers of this technology in weaving and their belts are believed to be the most perfect in artistic terms.

In the last hall of the Museum, visitors can see what craftsmen’ works during the last decades of XX century.

The unique atmosphere of the museum due to the model of the Revival Troyan crafts market street (charshiya), the reconstructions of of an authentic pottery workshop from the end of the XIX century, the foot-belt bucket lathe and the interior of the Revival Troyan house. They move us back in long forgotten times. In addition to the permanent exhibition in the Museum of Folk Art Crafts and Applied Arts, temporary exhibitions in different themes  are also presented. The Museum offers its guests a variety of services - visiting a pottery workshop, demonstrations of icon painting and woodcarving. This is another way for the guests to immerse themselves in the atmosphere of the town of Troyan.

“Vazrazhdane” (revival) exposition is in the restored building of the Turkish administrative center (Konak), built in 1968. Pictures, graphics and documents reveal the history and the participation of the Troyans in the the revolutionary struggles during the Revival, the April epopee under Mara Gidik peak and the War for Liberation.

The attention is attracted by the model of the “Mutual school”, built in 1847, this of the “Yellow school”, built only in six months by Gencho Kanev and these of “St. Paraskeva” church (built in 1835) and of the Vasilcho’s inn (where on 7th of October 1871 Vasil Levski organized the Troyan revolutionry committee).

In the exposition is shown the original piece of the banner/flag of the the Troyan revolutionry committee, ade by Marco Ivanov Markovski in 1875, based on the idea of Toma Hitrov – a voevoda and photographer, whose family was from the Troyan end.

Here you can see and the prisioners’ cell (kaush), rebuilt on the basis of Zahari Stoyanov’s descriptions.


“Ivan Hadzhiyki” Museum-house is in the home of the sociologist and publicist Ivan Hadzhiyski, founder of the socio-psychological school in Bulgaria. The house is located on the main street of the town. Through documentary exposition and household items, are revealed the personality of Hadzhiyski and the atmosphere of his time.

Additional services offered in the Museum of Traditional Crafts and Applied Arts:

"Augmented Reality" -  there are an intranet network connection and a site with mobile apps. The visitor gets access to apps that show the technological processes of making and decorating craft products, overlaid in the internal network, through his personal mobile smartphone (phone or tablet). Those who do not have their own smartphones can use tablets in the Museum for a minimum fee.

 "Museum in Suitcase" - This is a mobile educational program for children, presented as a thematic presentation, which allows the children to get acquainted with the folk customs and traditions and to touch the thematically selected museum exhibits. Appropriate programs for adults can also be prepared in case of interest.


Working hours:

November - March

  • Monday - Friday: 09.00 am to 5.00pm
  • Saturday: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
  • Sunday – only for groups and with provisional request

April - June:

  • Every day: from 09.00 am to 5.00 pm

September - October:

  • Every day: from 09.00 am to 5.00 pm

July - August:

  • Every day: from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm


Entrance fee: Children up to 7 years - free of charge

Students and pensioners - 2.00 BGN, adults - 4.00 BGN, classical lecture  - 10.00 BGN, short lecture  - 5.00 BGN, groups over 20 people - 50% discount

* In the central museum building there is a platform for people with disabilities, which provides access to the second floor of the museum exposition.

Contacts: tel: +359 670 6 20 62 - director, +359 670 6 20 63 - curators; mobile phone: +359 878 66 87 84

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