Museum of the Mosaics

Devnia is a small town near the Bulgarian sea capital Varna. It used to be however, one of the biggest cities of the Rome Empire and was known as Martzianopol. Due to the existence of natural springs with healing waters, the location was attractive to many and has a century-old history dating back to the Thracian settlements. It was destroyed in 596 and brought back to life in 1976 by a group of prominent archaeologists. During the excavations an imposing villa was discovered. Its floors were decorated with fine mosaic. The hypothesis dates the building back to II - IV century. The villa has many mosaic fragments, marble, frescos and stone columns. In view of the preservation of the priceless mosaic, a museum was built.

The mosaic presents various scenes of the life of the ancient people, ornaments, stylized flowers and animals. They are true masterpieces of antique art. One of the iconic mosaics in the museum is the visage of Gorgona Medusa whose role was to protect the hosts and to repel the enemies. There are several other unique mosaics which represent scenes from the Roman mythology.

The museum also hosts an exhibition with items and artefacts discovered during the excavations. The Mosaic Museum organized the first Gladiator fight in its yard. In a partnership with the Club for history reconstruction “Skitia Minor”, the museum celebrated its 30th anniversary. All visitors were dressed in white togas and wore laurel wreaths. The spirit of ancient Rome was revived by this mass spectacle and the tourists were in the role of the audience, who had to decide with thumbs up or down the fate of the gladiators.

Marketing approach

The museum is one of the 100th National Tourists Sites and is included into most of the country’s online platform and specialized sites for museums

The museum does not have website or Facebook page

It is presented by a number of PR publications.

Information for its offering can be found in many personal travel blogs.

Financial situation

The museum receives an income from sale of entrée tickets. It also relies on the municipality and national budget and is eligible to apply to several EU projects.

Key success factors

  • Authentic, well preserved heritage;
  • Unique tourist attraction;
  • Reconstruction of historical events with the visitors’ participation.

Source of the images:


Devnia, Northeast Planning Region

Key words

Mosaics museum, Roman period, historical and cultural heritage

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