The only museum in the world, dedicated to the oil-yielding plant – rose, is situated in the town of Kazanlak. The Rose Museum is housed in the old building of the Rose Institute. The rose is one of the symbols of Bulgaria.
The museum is a part of the Historical Museum “Iskra” in Kazanlak. In 1967 a small exposition was created, which was dedicated to rose-picking in Kazanlak and the region. In 1969 the exposition grew into an independent museum.
Nowadays the Rose Museum stores more than 15 000 exponents related to rose-picking and rose-production in Bulgaria.
South China is considered the motherland of oil-yielding rose. In Bulgaria the plant was introduced by the Ottoman Turks. According to written evidence, industrial quantities of oil-yielding rose have been produced in Bulgaria since1650. In 1740 a French company exported from Bulgaria the first batch of rose oil. During that time the Bulgarian rose oil was a preferred raw material for the French perfume producers.
The museum exposition includes original pictures and documents of the development of rose production, instruments for processing of the rose gardens, vessels for storing and exporting rose oil and rose water. Restorations of a rose warehouse and the first laboratory for examination of rose oil created in 1912 are made in the museum.
One of the biggest attractions in the museum is a rose oil vessel which had been used for the last time in 1947 to this day a strong rose scent can still be smelled around it.
Even nowadays, rose-picking is among the most important events in the Rose Valley of Bulgaria. It is accompanied by multiple celebrations. Every year here the Rose Celebration is conducted it is one of the most attractive festivals in Bulgaria. The Rose Festival was celebrated for the first time in 1903, and since then the traditional celebration has been conducted in the first weekend of June. This is the period in which oil-yielding Kazanlak Rose blossoms. The event attracts thousands of guests in the town and is related to multiple events – rose-picking, rose-boiling demonstrations, international folklore festival, festal procession and crowning of a Rose Queen.
Rose-picking in Bulgaria is conducted during the month of May. It starts early in the morning, when the blooming rose flower is poured with dew which preserves the rose oil and is essential for the extraction of the plant oil.
The Bulgarian rose oil has exceptionally high quality because of the technology according to which it is manufactured – the double distillation method and the intermediate cooling. This way the yielding of rose oil from rose water is raised by three times.
Even to this day, due to its high quality, the Bulgarian rose oil is still one of the most preferred raw materials by the French perfume producers.
Visitors can purchase informational materials, souvenirs, cosmetics, Rose jam, rose liquor, aroma oils, etc. in the Museum shop.
Kazanlak, Stara Zagora, 6100, Bulgaria.