Published on 15 December 2021
About this good practice
Mining Museum is located in city of Pernik,near Bulgarian capital city of Sofia.The museum is only one of its kind on Balkan Peninsula.It is housed in preserved galleries of the first Bulgarian mine "Old Mines",opened in 1891.Brown coal was mined until 1966, when its deposits were depleted and closed.Idea for its construction arose in the 80s of the last centuries,when a group of people from Pernik visited the underground salt mine Wieliczka in Poland,which was turned into a museum.Then Municipality of Pernik paid BGN 70,000 to the mine and turned two of the galleries of "Old Mines" into a museum.It was opened on August 26,1986.Museum is housed in two mining galleries with a length of 630 m, in which there are exhibition chambers representing development of Bulgarian mining industry.Authentic exhibits follow the development of coal mining techniques.Various equipment for strengthening,lighting and transport are presented.Museum has a multimedia hall where presentations are made and first documentary about Pernik is presented. Since 2012, it has housed an iconostasis of St.Ivan Rilski-heavenly patron saint of miners.Museum exhibits first electric locomotive,as well as catenary produced by Siemens for Pernik mine in 1925. First "mole" from 1936 is also shown.Museum is entered with a guide, in groups of no more than 20 people.Tour lasts about 40 min, and it is mandatory to wear helmets.Outerwear is needed for visitors comfort,due to low temperature in the galleries-less over 0oC
At the moment museum staff consists of 6 employees:1 mining technician and 5 guides.Financial expenses for 2020 are BGN 86,200.Financial resources are needed for the museum maintenance,renovation activities and to provide more attractive experience for visitors through modern information technology.
Evidence of success
Today the Mining Museum is among the 100 national tourist sites and is visited by over 6,000 people a year.
Potential for learning or transfer
The good practice is suitable for transfer to regions where such already unexploited mining galleries can be turned into a tourist attraction and used for practicing cultural tourism and increasing the tourist flow.