The Polish Institute in Sofia was established in 1949, first as a reading hall, later – as Polish Information and Cultural Center and since 1994 – as Polish Institute. The Polish Institute has played a vital role not only for the popularization of Poland and her culture but also for the Bulgarian cultural life in general, especially in the period 1960 – 1989 when, in view of the political situation in the country, it was a „window to the world“. Then Polish culture, as intermediary, informed the Bulgarians of the leading modern trends in art, science and literature.
The Polish Institute is the focal venue for dissemination of Polish culture and science and information about Poland. Its activities are not limited to Sofia but spread to other important cultural and university centers as Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas, Nova Zagora, Shumen, Dobrich, Ruse, Veliko Tarnovo, Pleven, Blagoevgrad, Smolyan. Many alumni of Polish educational institutions are connected with the Institute along with those who have taken the Polish language courses organized by the Institute.
The Polish Institute is a venue of many exhibitions, concerts and lectures, theatre performances and film shows. It provides financial support for various publications in the area of sociology and philosophy. Contribution to the promotion of Polish music is the Frederic Chopin young pianists Competition in Varna and the partnership with „Frederic Chopin“ music society. Guests of the Institute are eminent Polish authors and performers.
The Polish Institute avails of a library of over 14 000 books, audio and video library, reading room with newspapers and magazines, gallery, Information Service providing information about Poland and Bulgaria.