Its owner is also credited with the first car accident under the hills


Today on the streets, even the sidewalks, you can't pass through because of all the vehicles. Shortly after the release of the latest and most expensive modification of any foreign car brand you can think of, it can already be seen on our roads. For a long time, luxury cars, especially in front of certain places, have been commonplace and not even newsworthy.

However, this was not the situation in the past century, when everything different and "foreign" was a source of real pride and was a part of people's conversations for a long time. An interesting fact in the city of the hills is that the first car was brought here not just by anyone, but by a photographer!

Andrey Andreev was among the most sought-after photographers in Plovdiv. He left us hundreds, maybe thousands of photos. He was born in Plovdiv in 1871 in the family of the goldsmith Iliya Andreev from Panagyurishte. His mother, Harakli Shtereva, a relative of Lyuben Karavelov, grew up in Koprivshtitsa. The family had nine children - four boys and five girls. Even as a student at the Alexander I high school, Andrey Andreev became passionate about technology. However, his father insisted that he become a wine merchant and sent him to Vienna to study winemaking. Having just mastered the profession that could give him a real fortune, photography unexpectedly attracted him, so he left for Prague, where he studied both majors at the same time. From 1895 he started working as a photographer in Plovdiv. He had the most modern technology at his disposal, constantly monitoring the latest innovations. Thus, despite strong competition, at the beginning of the 20th century Andreev managed to establish himself as a first-class photographer. His great love for music also dates from that time. His name appears in the list of enthusiasts who founded the Plovdiv Singing Society.

Andrey Andreev traveled a lot. Both from a desire to see on the spot the latest achievements of photography, as well as from curiosity. Neither the distances nor the expenses scared him. He simply decided and left - once to Budapest, the next time - to Paris, then to Berlin and London. His last trip was to Yugoslavia. At the same time, he didn’t miss a single event in Plovdiv.

In the 1950s, the photographer’s house was destroyed. His priceless collection of glass plaques was destroyed. A small part of his photographs was saved by a resourceful employee of the municipality. Now his photos are scattered in the Plovdiv State Archives, the Regional History Museum, the Regional Ethnographic Museum and in several private collections.

Technology was Andrey Andreev’s true passion. He brought the first bicycle to Plovdiv, the first motorcycle to Plovdiv, and in 1905 he proudly showed himself with the first car under the hills. The photographer is also credited with the first car accident. By 1920, he even opened a bus agency that served the Plovdiv-Perushtitsa line, but despite his commitments, he didn’t have time to supervise the drivers who took advantage of his trustworthiness and failed his business.

The famous photographer was 40 years old when he started his family. His wife was 20 years younger than him. Borislav, the photographer's fourth child, was born in 1919, when his father was 48 years old. Despite taking care of his home and four children, Andreev didn’t give up his passion for technology and music, and in 1925 he founded the Plovdiv Photographic Association. For years, he headed the commission at the Plovdiv Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which issued master's certificates to new photographers. He didn’t abandon winemaking either, but made wine only for himself and to treat his friends.

Andrey Andreev died on December 25, 1938, after working for nearly 45 years in his studio on Otets Paisii street near the St. Marina church. During these years, he took photos of almost half the city.