The Museum of Bulgarian Civilization is located in a large building. It was built in 2013 during the reconstruction of the Bulgarian settlement, initiated by the administration of Tatarstan. This building towers over the pier where cruise ships are moored.
The 6-storey museum building is built into the steep slope of the Volga River. Only the 6th floor rises above the upper level of the river slope. There is a foyer in it. From there you can access the main sights of Bolgar. On the 5th floor there is an Altyn restaurant, and on the lower floors there is a river port.
The Museum of Bulgarian Civilization occupies the 3rd and 4th floors. On an area of 2 thousand square meters, you can see hundreds of exhibits related to the development of Bulgarian civilization in the Middle Volga region. The museum`s exposition covers the period from ancient times to the late Middle Ages.
Many exhibits of the museum of Bulgarian civilization were found during excavations in the vicinity of Bolgar. There are coins of the Golden Horde, which archaeologists found during the excavations of the Khan`s Palace. Products of local artisans, weapons, household utensils were found on the territory of the former craft town near the Black Chamber.
Of great interest in the Museum of Bulgarian Civilization are the models of the most famous buildings of Bolgar: The Cathedral’s Mosque and the Khan`s Palace. Only their foundations have survived to this day. The Black Chamber and the Khan`s Necropolis have been preserved from the 14th century to the present day without significant destruction.
There are many maps in the Museum of Bulgarian Civilization. Thus you can imagine how Volga Bulgaria developed. The Turkic tribe of Bulgarians inhabited the lands at the confluence of the Volga and Kama rivers since the 4th century. By the 10th century, the statehood of the Volga Bulgarians was born. The most important event in Volga Bulgaria occurred in 922, when Khan Alush united the lands into a single state and invited an embassy from Baghdad to adopt Islam as the state religion.
In the 1230s, the lands of Volga Bulgaria were captured by Batu Khan during his campaign against Russia. Bolgar became the capital of the Bulgarian Golden Horde ulus. It was the heyday of the Bolgar. In the 13th-14th centuries, stone buildings appeared in the city. A craft town appeared next to Bolgar, and the handicrafts of local artisans became known in many regions of the Volga region.
In 1431, the city of Bolgar was destroyed by a military detachment of Prince Vasily II of Moscow. After that, Bolgar was no longer revived, and the capital of the state was moved to Kazan. The new state was called the Kazan Khanate. It existed until 1552, when Kazan was conquered by the Russian tsar Ivan the Terrible.