“Kin, Family, Fatherland” - families that turned Plovdiv into undying Bulgarian city


Kin, Family, Fatherland is the topic of the calendar published by the Regional History Museum – Plovdiv for 2018. The stylish editionshows texts and photos from the past that have turned into symbols of Plovdiv. Head of the museum Stefan Shivachev told us more about the new calendar:

“This calendar has turned into a good tradition for the citizens of Plovdiv and all those who love the city, as well as for those who live abroad but are interested in the history of Plovdiv. Last year we focused on emblematic places in the city - squares, streets, various quarters, but this year the topic is Kin, Family, Fatherland. In the calendar we pay respect to those families that came to Plovdiv in the first decade of the 19th century from the regions of Sredna Gora, StaraPlanina, the Rhodopes, and Macedonia. They found a place where they could flourish. They accumulated wealth and became leading figures in trade from Izmir to Vienna and Manchester. It was these families that started the fight for reaffirming the Bulgarian spirit. In the 19th century Plovdiv was an oriental-type of city with predominant Muslim population and Orthodox Christians influenced by Greek culture. The families that came from other towns where the Bulgarian National Revival had already started became leaders of this process in Plovdiv. It was in 1849 when they offered the Bulgarian name Plovdiv for the city. Before that it used to be called Filibe in Turkish or the Greek name Philippopoliswas used. Later these families financed the construction of a number of Orthodox churches that are still emblematic for Plovdiv. They also created a school where teachers that were to work all across the Bulgarian lands, were trained. More than 1000 school books were published, laying the foundations of the new Bulgarian education system in our lands. I think that in the calendar we managed to achieve unity between historical photos and valuable information about these great Bulgarians.”

When they came to the city, representatives of these families had only attended monastic schools but their children received European education and many of them became leaders in the economic and political life of free Bulgaria. Among them there were many renowned politicians, mayors, doctors, engineers and architects. More from Stefan Shivachev:

“Konstantin Stoilov was the first Bulgarian Doctor of Law, who graduated from a university in Germany before specializingin France and becoming Prime Minister of Bulgaria twice – in 1887 and in 1894-1899. Ivan EvstatievGeshov studied trade science in Manchester and was one of the most successful mayors of Plovdiv before becoming a diplomat. The second and third generations of these Plovdiv families are some of the people who deserve to be called ‘builders of modern Bulgaria.’”

The calendar shows the spirit of Plovdiv from the past and its unique atmosphere that has been preserved. It tells a story about people who loved their Fatherland and returned to it in order to use their knowledge gathered abroad for the development and progress of Bulgaria.

English: Alexander Markov

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