Podcast in English
Bulgarian National Radio © 2022 All Rights Reserved

Plovdiv honours with an exhibition the biggest benefactor in Bulgarian healthcare

Photo: Regional History Museum, Plovdiv

2022 marks the 160th anniversary of the birth of Dimitar Petrov Kudoglu, known as the biggest donor to Bulgarian healthcare. On this occasion, a special exhibition of 20 panels has been arranged at the eastern end of the Tsar Simeon garden in the centre of Plovdiv, the official opening of which will be on July .

The place was not chosen by chance - across from where the Central Post Office of Plovdiv stands today, there used to be the House of Charity and Public Health, created by Dimitar Kudoglu in 1927, so that the poor could be treated for free from the most dangerous diseases for society at that time - tuberculosis, venereal diseases and child mortality, specified by the Regional History Museum in Plovdiv.

Dimitar Petrov Kudoglu was born on August 21, 1862 in the Bulgarian village of Gabrovo, in the region of Aegean Thrace (Belomorska Trakia). He inherited the tobacco trade from his grandfather, multiplying the family wealth. After 1903, he moved to Dresden - one of the European centres for trade in raw tobacco.

Dimitar Pétrov Kudoglu

Kudoğlu's charitable actions started at the beginning of the 20th century with the provision of a hospital building and the payment of a doctor to treat his fellow villagers in Gabrovo for free. After the burning of the village in 1913 by the Greek troops, he helped his fellow villagers who were now refugees in Plovdiv.

During the wars in the first decades of the 20th century his donations for soldiers, for free school canteens and the Red Cross exceed BGN 1,000,000. Later, he founded a fund at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in his name for the publication of literary works. He financed the university studies in Europe of gifted young Bulgarians, and accommodated talented violinist Nedyalka Simeonova in his home in Dresden.

The entrepreneur focused his philanthropic initiatives on health care, upholding the firm belief that in this way he could help create a physically and morally healthy future generation.

In 1927, Kudoglu materialized his idea of ​​creating a dispensary-type health facility in Plovdiv, where the poor could be treated free of charge by the best Bulgarian doctors. By 1944, the funds donated by him for the hospital exceeded BGN 41,000,000. Undoubtedly, this is the largest donation for Bulgarian healthcare ever, and the health facility was admired by dozens of European newspapers and specialists.

Dimitar Kudoglu died in Plovdiv in 1940, and during the years of the Socialist regime in Bulgaria, his philanthropic legacy sank into oblivion, the Regional History Museum recalls.

English version Rositsa Petkova

Photos: Regional History Museum in Plovdiv, archive

Listen to the daily news from Bulgaria presented in "Bulgaria Today" podcast, available in Spotify.

More from category

International expedition navigates along Danube limes

The ship Danuvina Alacris – the Living Danube – a replica of a Roman navis lusoria has successfully navigated the distance from Vidin to Lom along the Bulgarian shore. It took two years to build the ship in Germany, applying an ancient 4..

published on 10/4/22 11:42 AM
Discovery of a massive iron anchor

Portus Baglar or the bay of vines reveals secrets lying on the bottom of the Black Sea for thousands of years

An underwater National History Museum expedition in the bay of Cape Hristos, South of Sozopol, ended a few days ago after making some unique discoveries connected with the history of navigation, and loading and unloading operations in this..

published on 9/29/22 12:05 PM

Treasures from Bulgaria on display in New York as part of international exhibition

Until 19 February, 2023, the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World in New York is hosting the exhibition First Kings of Europe . The exhibition opened on 21 September under the motto The Ancient Balkans and Beyond . The artifacts on show..

published on 9/23/22 1:18 PM