The development of the place in the square began after the end of the First Sample Exhibition in 1892, due to which Tsar Simeon‘s Garden was created. The paved space in front of the main entrance immediately became a place for walking and parking for the Plovdiv coachmen, a good end to the main Knyaz Alexander Street.
1929, photo: Lost Bulgaria
In the same year, the legendary drama troupe "Tears and Laughter" found refuge there after being forced to pay an unaffordable rent in Sofia. The local municipalities provided the Sofia actors with a plot of land in the central part of the city to build their new theater. The imposing building was built quickly and cheaply from wood. Thus, on August 23, 1892 the troupe performed its first production under its own roof. In 2 months, their performances were watched by nearly 30,000 spectators, and according to statistics at that time, such was the number of the entire population of Plovdiv. On February 20, 1896 however, a wildfire burned the theater to the ground.
In 1923 Tsar Simeon Hotel was built by Mihail Dimitrov in its place. Three years later, the building became the property of the major tobacco merchant Dimitar Kudoglu, who announced that he was turning the hotel into a home for charity and public health. Unfortunately, only 30 years after the reconstruction of the home of charity and public health, it became an inconvenience to the rulers.
After September 9, 1944, Tsar Simeon Square was renamed Central Square, and in the late 1960s its great cementing began. The expansion of the post office was also planned, which initially included the incorporation of Kudoglu's house. Subsequently, however, whether for economic reasons or purely political moves, experts proved that the installation of the house would slow down and increase the cost of the expansion of the post office. Thus, a sapper officer quickly saved the rulers from their big problem. And the loss is immeasurable for Plovdiv. This is not the only building erased from Plovdiv in the construction of its modern appearance. Captain Raicho's chiflik was destroyed in the 1950s to build the Balkantourist Hotel, today's Trimontium.
In the place of its parking lot was the famous bathroom of Tsar Simeon, as well as other houses that are now gone because of the extension of the Main Street. Nearby were the houses and museums of Angel Bucharestliev and Svetoslav Hadzhikalchev. Far in the past there was a Summer Cinema in the place of the former Information Center.
Before the square was built, today's Knyaz Alexander Battenberg Street was paved and carts, cars and buses passed peacefully. After the expansion of the post office, it was covered with expensive Vratsa limestone slabs, which were replaced during the last reconstruction less than two years ago.
After its completion almost at the very end of 2019, this part of our city has become an impressive open-air museum and a favorite place of Plovdiv residents and guests.
The work on socializing the other elements of the golden years of the Agora of Philippopolis is still pending. The work on Forum-North is progressing even in the cold days and is visible to the people of Plovdiv on the Main, and we all expect the revival of the largest part of the archeological complex - Forum-South.