In this small square around Ivan Vazov Street, wonderful neo-baroque, art deco and modernist buildings, designed by the greatest Plovdiv architects, are gathered


The second tour of Bulgarian Modernist Architecture and the Free Plovdiv Tour, within the Station Street Fest held last week was dedicated to a part of the center of Plovdiv, identified in the town plan of Josef Schnitter.

Locked between the streets Krakra, G.M. Dimitrov and Krastyu Pastukhov, district 324 of the old cadastral plan has a little more than a dozen houses, but each of them more beautiful and full of history than the other. An interesting fact is that of all the streets, only Krakra has not changed its name over the years, while the others have had 2, 3, or even 4 renamings each.

One of the most impressive and undeniably excellently restored and maintained today is the building of the Turdoglu family, relatives of the famous Plovdiv Kudoglu family. The ornate house was designed by the architect Kamen Petkov, who also worked on some of the family's tobacco warehouses.

It currently functions as a hostel and everything inside is authentic except for the colors. There, foreigners can listen to music on the old radio, see household items such as copper cauldrons and dinnerware, and find out what Bulgarian homes used to be like. The original dark wood floors, walls, ceilings, authentic furniture - beds, antique wardrobes and even chests of clothes - have been preserved.

On the left along Krakra Street, the guides drew attention to 3 buildings in completely different styles.

The first is a house from the 1950s, which, like many other buildings of the period, is characterized by the absence of plaster over the bricks. This was usually the case because of the lack of funds and the poverty of a large proportion of the families in the city.

Next door is a slightly earlier work from 1933 by the notable Boyan Chinkov with quite specific modernist elements. Among them are the clean horizontal lines of the grid on the ground floor, as well as the specific, also horizontal, connection of the window frames.

On the very corner, we find a maintained pink building in secession style, the work of Kamen Petkov. An ornamented bay window was used in it as a way to straighten the corner - a concept that we have already described in our article about houses on a corner without a right angle in Plovdiv.

G. M. Dimitrov Street also impresses us with remarkable examples, and here we will single out the building of Svetoslav Grozev, which has two entrances - one of which faces Krastyu Pastukhov. It is a typical example of modernism, again with the horizontal wide windows and with the completely authentically preserved blinds on the first floor. Here again we observe a rectangular property with a beveled corner, similar to a number of other houses in the area. Unlike the secession building, however, here the bay window is stripped of ornamentation.

We ended our tour with indisputably one of the most beautiful buildings under the hills, although quite impressive solutions can also be seen next to it.

Designed in 1933 by the famous architect Hristo Peev for the Jewish family Eleonora and Albert Malapel, it is also one of the most modern houses in the city to this day. The building opposite the Music School is adjacent to other architectural creations by Boyan Chinkov and Svetoslav Grozev, but stands out with its clean, modern volumes. It has a harmonious asymmetric composition with a strong expression of individual volumes. All its elements, even taken by themselves, are extremely modernist – expressive visor over the roof balcony, wide glazed semi-cylindrical avant-corps with tubular parapet, flat roof without visors. It is extremely precisely developed in detail. Unfortunately, in recent years, the only novelty on it is the padlock on the front door, and ivy is the complete master in the yard and the building.

The entire tour, although in such a small area, took almost an hour and a half, and the information shared by the guides was intriguing and filled with many facts and history. On the first tour, the group was even joined by locals who shared with us curious memories and stories from their childhood, which were subsequently incorporated into the narrative.

We hope that this tour, as well as the first part of the tour – along Ivan Vazov Street, will be held again for Plovdiv residents and guests of the city.