The building is cruciform, with an arched shaped entrance from the north. It was built by Kolyu Ficheto (one of the most famous Bulgarian builders in the 19th century) in 1872. In Turnovo in the second half of the 19th century, master Kolyo Ficheto built the churches “St. Constantine and Helena”, St. Nicholas “,” St. St. Spas, St. St. Cyril and Methodius and St. Mary the Theotokos, the Hadji Nicoli Inn and the House with the Monkey.
In 1985, the adaptation of the building for the needs of the museum was completed. The exposition is located on three floors.
On the first floor, exhibits illustrating the development of Christian art during the Ottoman rule (from the end of the XIV to the end of the XIX century) can be viewed. An accent is the collection of icons from the middle of the 16th century, works of the Tryavna painting school, icons-primitives, works of the first artists with academic education – Stanislav Dospevski (1823 – 1878) and Nikolai Pavlovich (1835 – 1894) ).
In the exposition, the works of the carving masters – royal doors, crosses, apostolic friezes, church utensils, St.Gothian icons-prints, shroud from 1559 have also been found in the exposition.
Turnovo and the region during the Renaissance (XVIII – XIX centuries) are shown in the rest of the hall. There are exhibited objects and documents related to 17 of the 22 practiced in the city 22 crafts – goldsmithing, pottery, hardware, leather, tailoring, fur and more.
Many illustrations show the domestic and international relations of the traders from Turnovo, as well as the emergence of factory production. Models and photos show the evolution of architecture and construction during the era. A special place is given to the magnificent architectural monuments created by Kolio Ficheto.
The second floor is devoted to the stages and the most important moments of the national liberation struggle of the population from the Turnovo region during the era of the Ottoman rule – the Hajduk movement, the various uprisings, including the April Uprising of 1876, the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878. Particular attention was paid to the struggle for an independent Bulgarian church, the development of education and the community center.
On the third floor, the hall was renovated, in which the Constituent Assembly was held in Turnovo in 1879 (the first National Assembly of Bulgaria after the Liberation of 1878), which laid the foundations for the development of modern Bulgaria. The first Bulgarian constitution was adopted here and the first prince of free Bulgaria, Alexander Batemberg, was elected, and in 1885 a decision was made to unite the Principality of Bulgaria with Eastern Rumelia.