Today's article was inspired by Dimitar Gerganov's recently published book - The Streets of Plovdiv. In it, he walks us through 101 roads in the city under the hills and briefly introduces us to their history. You can find out more about the author and his work in the interview he gave for Pod tepeto, and we will highlight some very interesting facts.
Today we all pass through Ruski, one of the largest boulevards in Plovdiv, almost every day. It was named in honor of the Russian people and their contribution to the liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman rule. In fact, until 1882, there were no beginnings of a road in its place, but the City Council decided to turn it into a street. The first house built on it belonged to the future mayor Hristo Dyukmedzhiev, and only in the 20th century the boulevard began to acquire its current appearance. In the 30s of the last century the present alley was formed in the middle of it and the first plane trees were planted. The name given to it at the beginning was Tsar Osvoboditel, but in 1941 it was renamed to the German Fuhrer Adolf Hitler. This name remained valid for only three years and then it returned to its previous name, until after September 9 it was replaced by the still known - Ruski.
Mao Zedong was a Chinese communist and dictator who headed the People's Republic of China and made radical changes to it. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed during his rule, and this period is considered one of the blackest in the country's history. In Plovdiv, after its construction in the 1950s, his name was given to the current Iztochen Blvd. But a little later the relations between the countries changed and accordingly the street was renamed to Dimitar Blagoev, as it is known among our older relatives. Only after the changes did it accept his current name.
The Italian fachist - Benito Mussolini, became the reason for renaming a famous Plovdiv street during the Second World War. One of the most beautiful sections of the road to the Main Street - Veliko Tarnovo, in 1941 turned out to be renamed. These changes (for both Veliko Tarnovo and Ruski) were related to the then warm feelings towards the Italian and German people, but after the losses suffered after the battles, the streets regained their old names.
The change of the name of the next section is again connected with the rule during the Second World War. Tsar Ivan Alexander Street is not so popular (it is linked to Ruski Blvd opposite the shopping center), but for a while it was named after the 32nd President of the United States and the only one who won 4 seats. Most of the residents still call it by its old name, and until recently some of the houses still had old signs.