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Cluture and art

Museum
The Vidin Museum of History was established in 1910 as an archaeological society. Its by-laws state that its goal was “to find, preserve and study the monuments of the past that will be kept in a museum that will be located in the city of Vidin”. The sociaety was very active but the wars from 1912 – 1918 period hindered its development. On March 1, 1925, it recommenced its activities under a new name, Bononia. By 1932, the museum had its own building (in the old Turkish post office) and an exhibition on pre-history, paleontology, archaeology and ethnography. The coin collection included 2,500 coins. The archaeological map of the Vidin area is extremely impressive; it shows all known sites (churches, Roman roads, antique and mediaeval settlements).
In 1948, was transferred to the Vidin County People’s Council. In 1954, the museum was renamed to a People’s General Museum with historic profile. The building of the Konak (the old municipal building), a monument of culture, was given to the museum.
Today, the museum is located in the administrative building and in three tourist sites: the Baba Vida meadiaeval castle, Konaka an* the Cross-Shaped Barracks. The latter two building date back to the end of the 18th century and currently host the following exhibitions: History of Bulgaria 15th thorugh 19th century; archaeology; and ethonography. The museum has a staff of 20, of whom 13 experts in history and foreign languages. The museum has the following departments; pre-history; archaeology; coins; history of Bulgaria 15th through 19th century; ethnography; and new history. It owns 58,582 exhibits. 56 immovable monuments of culture are located within the municipaity: archaeological sites from the Antiquity and the Middle Ages, 15th thorugh 19th century churches and mosques, as well as buildings from 1880-1925 period.

Libraries
Mikhalaki Georgiev Regional Library
The library is the successor of the library established in 1870 when the Russian Consulate donated 174 books that have been preserved until today.
Initially, the library was located in the Vida Theater; after the Liberation, it was moved to Antim I High School.
The first paid curator was assigned in 1925. The first attempts to make a catalog of the books were in 1953.
On April 1, 1059, following the adoption of the new administrative division of the country, the library became County Methodological Library. Differentiated services to readers date back to the same year.
In 1965, the readers got free access and an independent children’s section was established.
Despite the fact the library was located in two separate buildings, its activities expanded. In 1989, the library team was awarded Cyril and Methodius Order, I Grade.
In 1991, some of the premises of the former communist party headquarters were given to the library. Now all departments are located in one building. This also allowed for the expansion of the reading-room activities. The following reading-rooms are functional at present: humanitarian sciences; exact and applied sciences; periodicals; art and music; chidren’s reading-room, all totalling 70 seats.
Today the library is the largest generally accessible scientific library within the Vidin Region.

Library functions
The Mikhalaki Georgiev Regional Library is the largest and the only library information center within the Vidin Region. It has developed different activities and is working with 70 community center and school libraries in the region. The library is engaged in publishing and keeps an archive of local and national newspapers and magazines.

Organizational structure:
Supplies, Processing and Catalogues Department – supplies, processes and lists in catalogues all library materials.
Maintains a catalogue system.
Staff – two experts.
Service Department
books on Loan – registers and serves readers aged 14 and over. Engaged in bibliographic and consulting activities. Lends books on request by other libraries, nationally and internationally. The department has a foreign language section: books, textbooks, teaching materials, audio and video tapes in English, German and French. The library materials are lent for home use and are tracked in separate registers. Staff – four experts.
Exacty and Applied Sciences Reading-Room – provides to all categories of readers materials from the areas of natural, technical, medical and agricultural sciences.
Staff – one expert.
Periodicals Reading-Room – keeps copies of all periodicals. Staff – one expert.
Children’s Section and Reading-Room – serves readers aged less than 14.
Staff – two experts.
Art Department – provides library documents on all types of art. Has a rich collection of records, sheet music, audio and video tapes, etc.
Staff – one expert.
Bibliographic References and Local History Department
The bibliographic reference section provides references, information and publishing.
The local history section collects and preserves the printed history of, and for, the region. Its collection is unique.
Staff – three experts.
Methodological Department – the department has a large amoung of scientific materials. It provides assiatance to all libraries within the region, regardless of their subordination.

Library funds
The library keeps a total of 278,705 library documents. Information about them is entered on card catalogues and in electronic format.
190,553 library units are available for home use by adults. These are systematically arranged in alphabetical order in two halls and a book vault.
9,095 library units are available for reading-room use. The books are 5,813 and are ket in the reading-room premises. The periodicals are 3,282 and are mostly kept in a book vault. Current periodicals are available in the reading-room.
43,197 library units are available for use by children. These are arranged alphabetically. Besides books, they include periodicals, records and games.
11,096 library units are available at the Art Department: books, periodicals, sheet music, records, maps, audio and video tapes, slides, microfilms.
The reference section has 4,519 library units and the local history section – 1,643 library units.
The rare and precious books fund includes 2,142 library units. These are kept in book vaults and are available for reading-room use. The oldest book was printed in Belgrade in 1835.

Access for readers
The library business hours are 9.00 to 18.00.
Saturdays – 9.00 to 13.00. Closed on Sundays.

Services offered by the library
- use of printed and non-printed materials
- use of inter-library and internationally loaned materials
- information services for companies from the region
- bibliographic and information services
- bibliographic information referebces – written and topical
- current bibliographical information
- xerox

Projects in which the library is involved
- Support to Periodical Publications on Culture Project, Soros Art Center
- Poushkin Library Megaproject, Stage II, Open Society Foundation
- Educational Project, Ministry of Education, Austria
- Everyman Millenium Library, British Council
Sponsors: Open Society Foundation; British Council; Association of Traders, Kraiova, Romania; Abagar Publishing; Sofia University Publishing and others.

Theatre
Vladimir Trendafilov Drama Theater
Vida Charity Theater Society was established in 1879. The first performances were held at the National Cafe in the Bolyarska neighborhood. The Vida Theater was built in 1891 with funds collected by a steering committee. This is the first building in Bulgaria that was built to be used as a theater.
Today, the Vidin Drama Theater has an extensive repertoire and has performances two seasons every year.

State Puppet Theater
The Vidn Puppet Theater was established in 1976 as a section of the Tsvyat Community Center. In 1980 it became a state theater under the Ministry of Culture. Since 2000, the puppet theater is co-financed by the Municipality of Vidin and the Ministry of Culture. At present, the staff is 24. The actors are 9, with their own dorector, art studios, technical staff and administration. The performances are mostly for children but there are some for adults as well. 3 to 4 new performances are staged every year. Annually, the theater has about 200 performances in the city and the neighboring communities, as well as all over the country.
The actors utilize different systems of puppets but show a consistent interest in the theater of shadows.
The Vidin Puppet Theater is the only Bulgarian theater that is a member of the Art for Children and Youth European Association in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The Vidin Puppet Theater has participated in many national and international meetings and festivals and has been awarded many prizes, such as: first prize of the National Puppet Acacdemy; the Special Award of the Jury at the International Puppet Festival in Botoshani, Romania (1996); the Most Theatrical Team Award at the International Puppet Festival in Subotitsa, Yugoslavia (1997); the award of the Dutch Embassy and the Projects: East West Dutch Foundation at the International Puppet Festival in Pleven (1999 and 2000).
The Vidin Puppet Theater has successfully performed in Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia, Mongolia, Croatia, Romania, Hungary and Albania.

Cultural and historic landmarks
The Baba Vida Castle
Castle construction began in the second half of the 10th century on walls and a tower from Bononia. The castle and the moat have a total area of 9.5 decares. Most of the buildings were completed between the end of the 12th and the end of the 14th century. It consists of housing and defense sections (a moat and two defense walls with towers). It is presumed that the second one consisted of guard premises, warehouses (food, water, weapons) and the home of the local ruler. Remains of a 13th century chapel were found in this section.

In the period from the end of the 17th and the beginning of the 19th century, the castle was adapted for firearms. The housing section was changed significantly by placing warehouses, guard premises and a prison that have been preserved until today. The upper section of the castle is covered with a mound of ground. The castle was used as a defense installations for the last time in 1885. The later restorations were partial and don’t change the fact that Baba Vida is the only completely preserved Bulgarian mediaeval castle. It is a national monument of culture since 1964, a tourist attraction, a place where documentaries and movies have been filmed. The summer theater of the city is located in the castle.
Lighting the Baba Vida Fortress Project
On September 16-17, 2000, were held the European Heritage Days in Bulgaria. The national topica was Cultural Routes. Among the organizers were the Ministry of Culture, the National Institute of Monuments of Culture and the Bulgarian National ECOMOS Committee. Participants included all municipalities that were willing to join this European initiative.
The main goal of the Euroepan Heritage Days in Bulgaria was to underline the significance of the cultural routes in the promotion of our cultural heritage, in stregthening the religious identity, the development of sustainable tourism and the integration in the common European cultural environment.
The Municipality of Vidin supports this goal and was actively involved in the European Heritage Days. Based on Vidin’s rich cultural and historic heritage, the Municipality expresses its wish to have all Vidin citizens unite ins support of the common idea of preserving and protecting our heritage.
With this regard, the Municipality of Vidin appeals to all Bulgarian patriots to give their contribution to the implelemntation of the Lighting the Baba Vida Fortress Project.

Kaleto Fortress
he building of the so-called Kale (fortress) began during one of the Austrian-Turkish wars. The fortress was built in the period between 1690 and 1720. It has a semicircular form with a diameter of 1,800 meters, formed by a wall following the Danube riverbank. At the riverbank, the wall is double, while at the mainland it’s single. In front of it is located a moat, 18 meters wide and 6 meters deep, that was filled with water from the Danube. Today, the fortress is partially preserved. A part of the moat has been filled up and only the fortress gates (kapii) have remaind, from north to south: Florentin (Karlu Baba), Enichar (Boklouk), Pazar (Londzha) and Stambol. The gates to the Dnube were five, named from north to south: Araluk, Top, Saray, Telegraph and Syurgyun.

Koluka Turkish Konak
Built in the second half of the 18th century, it was significantly changed later. Initially, the building was probably one-story, with halls in both directions that used to meet in the middle at a straight angle. A tower-like premise was placed in the central part of the building – a firefighting watchpost. The Turks used the building for a poliice department. In the 1870s, the Bulgarian church community moved into the building. Following the Liberation, the konak was reconstructed with the addition of Bulgarian Renaissance architecture elements.
Since 1956 the building is a museum with exhibitions covering the period until 1878.

The Vidin Bishops Building
Vidin Bishopric

The building was finished in 1924 on initiative by Vidin bishop Neofit. It has a centarl symmetry axis in which the main entrance is located. A stairway is located in the apse against the entrance. Two secondary stairways are placed in the side wings and lead to the patio of the compound. The building is two-story, with basement and attic. The ground floor houses the offices, archive premises and a conference room. The bishop’s quarters are on the first floor.
All openings are domed. The spatial solution makes the building look monumental and tranquil. Всички отвори за засводени, тяхното подреждане е създало на фасадата сложен ритъм.

The Old Economic Eparchy School Building
Built in 1926 with donations from Vidin bishop Neofit to be used as a professional tailoring school. The building is two-story, with basement and attic. The for is even. Built-up area is about 500 sq. m. The ceremonial hall is the largest room in the building. It has the form of a semicircular apse. The ceremonial hall has a terrace that is also accessible from the second floor. The ceiling is framed by a jagged ledge. The other premises are classrooms and offices.
External architecture has a single-volume effect. The entrance is outlined by two couples of Corinthian columns. The windows are domed by a semicircular arch. The corners are outlined with rustics

Tags: archaeological society, archaeology, Bdin sity of Vidin, bononia, Cluture and art, ethnography, history of vidin, hotels in vidin, Libraries, paleontology, pictures of vidin, pre-history, realestate in vidin, Regional Library, Theatre, tourisum in vidin, Vidin, vidin bulgaria, Vidin Museum of History, vidin province, vidin region

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