Retro Museum in Varna
Surrounded by the retail shops of the Grand Mall, it would seem an odd choice of venue to have the Retro Museum in Varna with its unique collection of Communist memorabilia housed here. However, situated in a corner of a floor in the mall, you’ll find exhibits from 1944-1989 brought together by Tsvetan Atanasov, a Bulgarian businessman with an initial passion for classic cars which has later spilled over to other household and commonplace items from the Soviet era.
Walking inside you are greeting by a sea of red carpet covering the floors and walls; popular music being played from these decades; bright lights highlighting the shine from polished cars and everywhere you look, are the remnants of what would have been in houses and on streets during this period. You don’t necessarily have to be a fan of Communism to enjoy the displays but at least have a desire to experience the nostalgic relics. For others who lived through these years, I imagine the exhibits will also bring about mixed emotional memories.
Classic Cars in the Retro Museum
With over fifty cars restored and repainted, it’s testament to the expertise of the specialists who have recreated these iconic cars to exhibit in the museum. All are in full working order with gleaming bodywork, shining chrome and pristine interiors of the models which include: VAZ, Moskvich, Wartburg, Trabant, Skoda, Volga, ZAZ, Chaika and UAZ. There are also bikes and even kid’s cars on display, all of which provide an authentic insight to popular, and very expensive, motor vehicles during this era.
Wax Figures in the Retro Museum
To recreate the retrospective atmosphere, various wax figures from Bulgarian politics and other Communist states are on display, either posing next to cars or sat together. Although they’re on the creepy side, where else will you find the likes of Brezhnev, Lenin, Stalin, Marx, Castro and Todor Zhivkov, all under one roof?! In addition to these leaders, there are also celebrities from past – Todor Kolev, Emil Dimitrov, Nevena Kokinova and Velko Kanev – famed for their acting, writing or singing.
What else is there?
Expect to find large collections of household and consumer goods; everything from TVs, radios, phones and cameras to cosmetics, toys, cigarettes and vodka! Encased in glass display units, they offer a great insight into what you could buy and use from back in the day. Adorning most available wall space is a huge range of metal signs but don’t worry if you can’t understand them all, the staff there are more than happy to answer any questions and help you.
What you need to know to visit the Retro Museum in Varna:
from 10 am to 10 pm.
Adults 10 lv.
Special discounts for children and youth – children up to 6 years incl – free.