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THE NATIONAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM

Buyuk (Big) Mosque is the oldest preserved building in Sofia from the medieval period the city.

As it was usual for the Ottoman construction, there were other buildings around the mosque: inn, madrassa, water reservoir and a fountain.

During the Russian-Turkish war the abandoned mosque was turned into a hospital.

At the end of 1879, the Ministry of National Enlightenment committed it to the library established a few months before that, where an antiquity museum was intended to be arranged.

The official opening of the library in the mosque was on March 2, 1880.

After the completion of the new wings in 1938-1940, the first major renovation of the mosque after 1900 was carried out and the disposition of the premises was brought to its present state.

The museum building was heavily destroyed during the bombing of Sofia in 1943.

It was only in 1948 that the museum opened its doors again to the public. In 1999-2000, the southern lapidarium and the courtyard in front of it were rebuilt in an art-café, and now it is one of the favourite places of Sofia citizens.