As an avid art gallery visitor, I am perplexed at myself for never having bothered to look up galleries in my hometown of Sofia, Bulgaria. Granted, I haven’t lived there since I was ten, so visiting one isn’t as easy as just walking around the corner. Even so, whenever I go back I try to maintain a sense of connection and heritage with my birthplace. I have and have had many homes, but there is only a single one that I can forever come back to. So naturally, I invest some time in exploring what’s new around the city every chance I get.

SQUARE 500, (locally known better as KVADRAT 500) is Sofia’s recently-opened Bulgarian National Gallery. Since 25th of May 2015, it has been home to more than 42,000 artworks from Bulgarian and international painters and artists. Walking though it, I felt a sense of belonging that I’ve never felt at any art exhibition. Countless artists depicting Bulgarian history, culture and customs though art seemed like just the right way to feel reconnected to my country after a long time away.

The gallery’s inside yard is somewhat of a hidden treasure in the middle of a busy city center. It’s full of sculptures and an awesome mix of architectural styles - a place you should feel proud to have discovered, especially if you did it on your own. In fact, I adored the inside yard so much, that I chose it over any other place in Sofia to take some pictures for this post.