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House of the Dolls

One of the best things about living in Sofia is that it surprises you with new magical places every single day.

Even though the Doll House opened 4 years ago, we just found it recently and we won’t keep it a secret. After visiting the place all we wanted to do is share our experience with everyone around – from the children to the grown-ups.

Under the roof of the Art House Kuklite (In Bulgarian “kukli” means dolls ;)) we met the lovely host and creator of the place – Jeni Kostadinova who introduced us to her fairy friends – 3000 beautiful dolls from all around the world, “born” in various periods of world’s playing history.

With the help of generous friends who were collecting dolls for years and who decided that their treasures must not stay hidden in the wardrobes  anymore, she now opens the doors to our childhood and brings us back to the world of tales. We met babies, porcelain girls with marvellous dresses, angels, wooden and paper dolls, tiny little men and women, dressed with their traditional clothing from all over the world, vintage talking dolls, marionettes and many more.

The atmosphere in every room of the Doll house made us feel as if we were children again, only this time we had all the dolls we would dream of at one place.

You may think that only girls would appreciate this, but after going there with two grown up boys, who stared with eyes wide open until the end of the tour, we weren’t surprised to find out that the biggest collectors of dolls are actually men.

We also found out that once upon a time the dolls were used as models for dresses – the designer would send a doll to his client, dressed with his newly designed dress and if the lady liked it, she could keep the doll and give it to her daughter to play with. Soon after that she would wear the real dress.

Art house Kuklite is not only a museum but a creators’ workshop too. There is special room full of materials where parents and children can go together and make their own dolls with the help of Jeni’s lovely assistants. Another room hosts all the angel dolls that children created for the Christmas doll’s competition organised by Jeni the last three years.

We left the house and went back to reality, but we’ll surely find another occasion to come back and forget about being responsible adults for another hour or two ;)

Text by: Alissa Atanasova

Photos by: Tomislav Rashkov

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