The collection presents the historical events and processes from the early centuries of the Ottoman rule (XV - XVII centuries). The monuments included in it illustrate topics related to the conquest of the Balkan Peninsula by the Ottomans, the penetration and imposition of Islam, the place of the Bulgarian population and the institution representing it - the Orthodox Church, within the Ottoman Empire, as well as the early uprisings to regain national independence.

The collection was created mainly through ransoms and donations from citizens. Objects of archaeological origin are relatively few. Due to the thematically wide scope of the collection, the samples that form it are very diverse - weapons, household items, jewelry, works of applied arts. Some of them are local products, and others are imports from the far reaches of the vast Ottoman Empire, as well as from Central and Western Europe.

The number of works of metalworking crafts is significant, of which undoubtedly the most attractive are goldsmith's products - ornaments, secular and religious vessels. For the most part, they are made by craftsmen working in the traditions of the notorious Chiprov goldsmith's school, whose heyday covers the time from the second half of the 1688th century until the defeat of the Chiprov uprising in September XNUMX. The richly decorated silver cups (bowls) are especially attractive. and gourd cups. The collection also contains several collective finds of women's ornaments, discovered by chance in today's Northwestern Bulgaria. Hidden as treasures and never sought by local residents fleeing the dramatic events of the late XNUMXth century, they include 'arpalia' earrings, 'trepki' silver plate earrings, ornately decorated 'kubelia' bracelets and forehead ornaments - bridal wreaths and chaplets .

An impressive group of objects in the collection are the earthenware vessels made in the large Ottoman workshops of the cities of Iznik and Kütahya. With few exceptions, they were discovered during the archaeological excavations undertaken in the 80s and 90s of the last century in the ruins of the monastery complex on the island of Saint Ivan near Sozopol. They are distinguished by their multi-colored underglaze coloring and by their rich plant decoration, specific to Ottoman works, including tulips and carnations as the main decorative elements.

Our ideas about the taste of the people of the era are also complemented by the exquisite glass tableware, mainly cups and jugs, found in the remains of a shipwreck near the town of Chernomorets at the end of the XNUMXth century. Produced in workshops on the island of Murano in the Republic of Venice, they are excellent evidence of the activity of commercial contacts of the era.

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