Today, although they have lost some of their public importance, they are still the place where we can find a range of educational materials and develop our skills and talents


After the first part of the series Do you know which libraries are in your neighborhood, we dive back into the wilds of literature.

Today we will tell you virtually about the chitalishta (a kind of community centers) in the Southern, Trakia and Eastern neighborhoods. In case we have missed any center of Bulgarian culture, add it in the comments so that together we can make the most comprehensive list for all passionate readers.

Southern Region

Tsar Boris III and Tsaritsa Joana Public Community Center - 45 Slaveevi Gori St

In the beginning, its activity was related to the holding of musical parties, interpretation of folk customs, talks, celebrations on the occasion of the anniversaries of national heroes, theatrical scenes. It has a book fund of 467 volumes, 786 books are distributed for reading, and the members are 67. After 9.IX.1944, the community center was renamed Georgi Bakalov, and in 1958, the Hristo Botev chitalishte and the Georgi Bakalov chitalishte united. In 1975, in the newly built building (domestic complex) at 41 Slaveevi Gori St A - III floor, rooms were designated for chitalishte activities, in which there was a library and a room for music training as a branch of the Hristo Botev chitalishte. In 1997, the first name of the community center was restored - Tsar Boris III and Tsaritsa Joana.

Today, concerts, celebrations, meetings with authors, literary evenings, participation in competitions for young performers, etc. are regularly present in the cultural program of the community center.

Gogo Mavrov Public Community Center - 20 Sergey Rumyantsev St

The chitalishte was founded in the summer of 1929, starting its activities the following year. Many members were enrolled, a theater troupe was assembled, which played plays by notable Bulgarian writers. The Jupiter sports club, a tourist section, a singing group, and a folk orchestra were created. Since the community center did not yet have a building, the performances took place outdoors, on improvised stages, in schools not only in Plovdiv, but also in other towns and villages. In the chitalishte, one of the first in the city "Rhodope Singing Group" was created for the performance of Rhodope songs, as well as an instrumental ensemble (of folk instruments - bagpipes, gadulka, kaval, accordion, etc.).

Absolutely free of charge, the people of the neighborhood built today's library with two small halls. In another building, a half-day kindergarten was set up, which functioned until 2000. At a later stage, a dance hall was built - with parquet, barres, mirrors, make-up rooms, changing rooms. New activities, imposed by the changes in life in Bulgaria, were beginning to develop. Over the years, the school of competitive dances has also gained momentum, winning many awards not only in Bulgaria, but also abroad.

Nikola Vaptsarov Community center – Proslav district

It was founded in 1928 under the name "Consciousness" in an annex to the school in the village of Michkur (now Proslav district), and later a small hall and a library room were built at the local town hall. In the middle of the 20th century, the chitalishte was renamed after the Bulgarian poet Nikola Vaptsarov. Important for the history of the chitalishte is the year 1962, when an independent community center building was built with funds from self-taxation and voluntary work, where significant local events are held to this day. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the chitalishte, the Cyril and Methodius order was awarded, and on its 75th anniversary, the Honourous Badge of Plovdiv.

Important for the activities of the chitalishte are: a library with over 17,000 volumes, which is supplemented every year; a club for literary creativity, a photography club and a KvARTal club, a collective for fine and applied art, dance ensembles were formed, readings, meetings and other events are held.

Hristo Botev Public Community Center - 1 Dame Gruev St

Hristo Botev Public Community Center was founded on October 2, 1905, and in 1906 the chitalishte's charter was approved by the Ministry of Public Education. With its activities, the chitalishte brought life to the neighborhood, it was the only cultural center at that time. According to eyewitnesses, the community center began to develop a rich cultural and educational activity for its time, and a theater group was formed, whose first performance was Long-Suffering Genoveva . This was also the time when the foundations of the library were laid. Books were purchased with funds collected from membership fees and income from cultural events.

In 1957, the construction of the community center building began, and a large part of the residents of the neighborhood joined the organized labor brigades and gave their contribution through their free work. A year later, the construction was completed and the building was inaugurated. Over the years, numerous cultural events and activities have been organized and held, such as: mixed choir; tambourine and dance ensembles; different schools.

Theaters from all over the country have been guests on the stage of the chitalishte. The school at the chitalishte is multiplying its students and new forms of learning are being discovered, since 2005, for the first time, a study hall for children from first to fourth grade has been opened. The facilities of the chitalishte are constantly updated with public and private funds.

Ivan Vazov Exemplary Public Community Center - 139 Komatevsko Shose St

The chitalishte began its life in 1931 in a room of the school in the then village of Komatevo with patron Ivan Vazov. Its activity began with performances of plays, the proceeds of which were used to buy books, and lectures by teachers were held, mostly with a pedagogical focus. In 1947, a "Small Community Center" was built with a library and a lounge for spontaneous performances on the initiative of chitalishte activists with the support of the local administration and mainly with the participation of young people. Twelve years later, the present two-story building was built with government funds and volunteer labor, with spacious rooms for the library and various activities, as well as a three-hundred-seat auditorium and stage.

In the 1980s, the library was expanded and modernly furnished, and by 2006, its collection reached nearly 18,000 volumes. The chitalishte holds many meetings with writers who leave messages in a special album. For 57 years, an arts school has been operating there - initially it included lessons in accordion, folk instruments, folk dances, and later - piano, fine arts, modern ballet and cinematography.

Trakia Region

Mladost Public community center - Trakia apt. bl. 22 and apt. bl. 13

The цхиталисхте is housed in two sub-block spaces in Trakia – apt. bl. 22 and apt. bl. 13. In bl. 22 there is a library, a book depository, a room for creative workshops, the office of the secretary of the chitalishte and service rooms. The proximity of the Lauta Park allows for outdoor training, creativity and sports.

In bl. 13 there is a library, a book depository, a music room, a hall for club activities and rehearsals of amateur groups.

Savremennik Community center - Trakia 141, Khan Krum quarter - A4

The library at the Savremennik-1986 Public Community Center was established in 1986. Its library collection consists of over 12,000 library documents, including mostly books and periodicals. Fiction for adults and children is predominant. Showcases and corners are arranged in the library according to important dates and anniversaries of prominent personalities and historical events. Literary readings, quizzes, talks and celebrations are held.

The chitalishte is housed in sub-block premises in the Trakia region. The library is located in block 140 in a room on two levels, which gathers more than 50 people. In the building of bl. 141 there are 4 separate offices for different schools and activities, there is also the office of the secretary of the chitalishte. The chitalishte has a Chamber Hall and another small office in bl. 146. The hall is suitable for concerts, rehearsals and other creative activities with a capacity of up to 20-30 people. In good weather, the Creativity Zone in front of the library is used, which gathers more people and was improved in 2013.

Eastern Region

Peyo K. Yavorov Public community center - 15 Bosilek St, bl. 215

Only 12 years after the tragic death of the poet Peyo Yavorov, a group of Plovdiv admirers of his work founded a chitalishte with his name. Books were collected through donations, starting a small library. Now the library has two departments - for adults and for children, and the book fund has over 10,000 volumes of literature.

Over the years, the chitalishte has had two vocal-instrumental ensembles of Roma origin, various music schools, and a language school. A number of meetings with writers and artists, creators were noted in the mass cultural activity.