In the construction of St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral they planned the ground floor be a tomb for the Bulgarian kings. But none of the kigs was buried there. Therefore in 1965 the space under the church was converted into a branch of art National Art Gallery for Orthodox art .
The museum of icons inside the Alexander Nevski cathedral crypt houses what is claimed to be the largest collection of Orthodox icons in Europe. The collection of works covered a long period – the adoption of Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire in the fourth century to the Bulgarian National Revival (XVIII – XIX century) and is represented mainly by icons.
The exhibition includes over 200 icons from the 13th to the 19th century, three fragments of wall paintings, engravings and other antique religious artifacts.
A big impressive exposition of icons from all parts of Bulgaria is exquisitely exhibited in the crypt. Artisans and artists have worked for 30 years in order to establish the cathedral crypt where you will admire at 300 frescoes and decorative elements of marble, onyx, alabaster and gold.
Actually, Bulgarian icons have always fascinated people, evoking profound respect and admiration. All expositions abroad /Paris, Brussels, Madrid, Munich, Berlin, Warsaw, Moscow, Venice, Havana, Delhi, Tokyo/ provoked great interest of people and had stunning success.
The crypt is entered from the northwest entrance of the church of Alexander Nevski.