The Thracians

Orpheus’ Golden Empire

23 July 2004 to 9 January 2005

With a selection of c. 1000 fascinating artefacts, this exhibition presents masterpieces of the extraordinary art and culture of the Thracians. It presents the luxurious Gold and Silver treasures of one of the most influential civilisations of the antique world, setting them in a broader cultural context from the Early Neolithic (c. 7.000 B. C.) until the Late Roman periods (c. 300 A. D.).

The Thracians, one of the oldest and biggest Indo-European peoples, settled in South-eastern Europe and in Asia Minor. Their main homeland is situated in today’s Bulgaria. Intense relations and exchange with their neighbours has been characteristic for these people living on the bridge between Asia and Europe. All great civilisations from Asia passed through this area into Europe. Thracian culture developed in exchange with Persians, Scythians, Greeks, Celts, Romans and even the Egyptian Empire.

The most spectacular finds from Bulgarian museums are on view, ritual gifts to the Gods as well as rich burials of kings and noblemen, amongst them the extraordinary gold treasures from Varna, Valcitran, Panagjurište and Rogozen. Another highlight will be the reconstruction of a fresco painting from the tomb of Aleksandrovo from the 4th century B. C., which was discovered only three years ago.         

Thracian culture will be explored by different subjects covering Orphic religion, the history of Thracian relations to Greek and Roman history as well as the technology of Thracian metalwork. The archaeological investigations of the region of Drama in Southeast Bulgaria will be a special point of interest.

Here, a continuous period of settlement and everyday life in Southern Thracia from Neolithic times well into the Roman period can be studied. The exhibition throws light on the splendour as well as the simplicity of Thracian life.


Die Thraker
Das goldene Reich des Orpheus
384 pages with 737 color illustrations, 13 maps
25 EUR
Trade edition: Verlag Philipp von Zabern

Show bibliography
  1. Image from Exhibition Foto: Peter Oszvald © Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland GmbH

Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland

Museumsmeile Bonn
Helmut-Kohl-Allee 4
53113 Bonn
T +49 228 9171–200

Opening hours

Mondays closed
Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.
Thursdays–Sundays, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
(including public holidays even those which fall on Mondays)