Photos: Tanya Grozdanova
The white house, perched on the top of Dzhambaz tepe, is one of the most mysterious buildings in the City under the hills. It was built in the middle of the 19th century by the merchant Pasqual Papadati, and at the beginning of the 20th century, it became the property of Ralu Altun Elmaz. Its last owner before the nationalization in 1947 was the Priest Antov, whose name it still carries today. After that, several families lived in the house until 1979, when its restoration and furnishing with diplomatic taste began.
In 1995 it was declared an architectural and artistic monument of national importance. It was completely restored in 1979. The yard is formed in a lovely Revival garden with a marble well with an iron spinning wheel. The interior is rich in detail and stylishly executed.
The legends tell say that former important people of the party and royals have spent the night here but this is not the case. It was a reception of the Foreign Trade Office and the residence of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs between 1979 and 2015. There were conversations at a government level here, but the historians and people working in the Old Plovdiv are definite that no one has spent the night.
In October 2000, the Queen of Denmark, Margrethe II, stepped on the wooden floor of Antov House. A month later the Swedish monarch Gustav XVI walked into the picturesque garden, and in one of the rooms, the chair where Pope John Paul II sat when he visited Plovdiv in May 2002 is still preserved. In August 2003, the Spanish King Juan Carlos walked through the central room admired the feeling of past times and grandeur that the architectural pearl leaves in its visitors.
The great Bulgarian painter Boris Dimovski has painted one of the rooms in the semi-ground floor of the Revival house with numerous caricatures. Although to date some of them have been damaged and faded, the "Be curious, not watchful" episode is cheerfully "winking" probably on the function of the building as a reception of the Foreign Trade Office and the residence of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.