Just a few meters from one of Plovdiv's biggest landmarks - the Roman Stadium, you will be able to immerse yourself in a central, but relatively quiet and not so busy street. According to the recently published book by Dimitar Gerganov, it is exactly 342 steps long or about 250 meters. It is named after the British woman with a big heart, who with all her might helped the suffering Bulgarians after the bloody suppression of the April Uprising - Emily Ann Beaufort, or Lady Strangford after her marriage. There is a street with such a name in the capital as well.
Her interest in Bulgaria stemmed from her husband, who was a longtime diplomat at the British Embassy in Istanbul, a specialist in the Eastern Question and actively supported Bulgarians during the struggle for church independence. The two met under rather unusual circumstances, namely on the occasion of his sharp review of a book on Egyptian tombs and Syrian sanctuaries, which the daughter of longtime naval Admiral Beaufort published. Instead of hating each other, they fell in love and got married the following year.
The tragedy and unhappy fate of Bulgaria in 1876 deeply moved the lady and she appealed to the British public and Europeans in Constantinople to help the Bulgarians and created a fundraising foundation called the Bulgarian Present Relief Fund. Through it, more than 30,000 pounds have been collected, with the help of which hospitals have been equipped in 6 of the most affected places. The then-young Ivan Vazov dedicated a poem to her, part of his collection of poems "The Sorrows of Bulgaria".
Today on the street of the same name, dedicated to the sacrifice of this British lady, we can see a variety of architectural styles. Starting in the part to the Roman stadium we can directly see in front of us the sign of the rock bar Download. It is housed in a building that was originally built for the Club of Cultural Figures. Subsequently, it underwent various metamorphoses. In the 80's it was a favorite place of Plovdiv bohemians - Crystal. At that time, an impressive mural was made by Nikolai Kuchkov, which was unfortunately erased in 2002.
A little higher on the same side of the street is the home of the only mayor in Plovdiv who was convicted of corruption - Denyo Manev. According to historical data, he illegally acquired a municipal place for pennies and built a new house there. However, it was completely destroyed by the angry citizens of Plovdiv. Despite the disgraceful fate of its owner, the building on Lady Strangford Street preserves its beauty and the heritage of the architect Valko Valkovic to this day.
At the top is the only vocational school in clothing in the city under the hills - Anna May, which boasts over 125 years of history. In its yard you can see one of the few monuments of women in Plovdiv. Anna Krasteva Maimunkova with the pseudonym Anna May is a Bulgarian politician, activist of the Bulgarian Communist Party in the early twentieth century.
On the left side, don't forget to turn the smaller path, on which several more houses are hidden, and you can even see a preserved old sign with the previous way of writing the name. From there the view of the city is a little different!
One of the most impressive buildings in terms of architecture is that of the Evangelical Cathedral at number 21. It was made in neo-Gothic style and consecrated in 1901. It was built by Rhodope masters from the village of Slaveyno designed by architect Georgi Fingov and was declared a cultural monument due to its unique architecture for the city.
Less than 5 minutes and you are already at the end of the street, which, although not one of the most impressive in history and buildings, is worth walking around and diversifying your central route, for example!