Over the years, a number of valuable buildings have been destroyed in Plovdiv and today we only have our memories of them and a photograph here and there. We have collected some of the more famous and central among them in a text to serve as a reminder that not everything old is necessarily junk, and in many cases the destruction doesn’t necessarily bring something more valuable.
Maritsa Pharmacy is one of the oldest in Plovdiv. It was created in the 1980s. The original location is unknown, but at the very beginning of the 20th century, the sign was visible on a newly built building at the corner between today's 6 September Blvd and Raiko Daskalov St, opposite Karaul Khan.
In 1908, the pharmacy was bought by the young pharmacist, Hariton Kuev. The old one-story building was clearly not to the taste of the new owner, and he decided to build a representative European-style building on the opposite side of the street.
He assigned the design to architect Pencho Koichev, an established specialist, author of memorable buildings, including the Courthouse in Sofia and the royal palace in Bistrica. After the builders took down the scaffolding, half the town went out to see the new miracle of Plovdiv. Everything was to be praised - both the aristocratic decoration on the outside, and the interior design, and the order in the pharmacy. For years, the establishment was pointed to as exemplary.
Unfortunately, shortly before 1980, dynamite destroyed the beautiful building to reveal the impersonal facade of a new block of flats.
Kurshum Khan is one of the legendary Plovdiv buildings that we remember with sadness. A large and beautiful stone building that has survived the centuries, but was demolished to make way for today's Hali Shopping Center. One of the most detailed descriptions of it is given by Evliya Chelebi, who saw it around 1650 - with 44 rooms on each floor, massive steps and a heavy, impenetrable door, which is the only material memory of the building today (you can see in the Ethnographic Museum). The impressive building fit perfectly into the urban landscape - along Targovska Street, a long central street, a continuation to the bridge, next to other inns, baths, mosques and a stone's throw from the other impressive building - Bezistena.
In 1927, the first large-scale announcement of real estate "oldies" took place in Plovdiv. At around that time (1927) the building was inspected. Many cracks, broken places, unsafe supports, etc. were found, which indicated weak construction and probably foreshadowed what happened during the April 1928 earthquake.
After the earthquake, the inn really remained in an extremely difficult condition, and the fate was decided at the meeting of the Plovdiv Municipal Council on July 15, 1929. The decision to demolish the building was made during the time of the mayor Enyu Manolov, and during the office of his successor, Bozhidar Zdravkov, the construction of the City Hali began.
The famous Golyam Bunardzhik, on the site of which there is now an open-air gym, was municipal, offering shade and coolness on its panoramic terrace. Its area was extremely small with absolute care for the hill and its natural features. In the 1980s, it became the Druzhba disco. After 1989, it was privatized. Passing into private hands, attempts were made to upgrade and expand it, which were the subject of court cases for years, but after many protests and debates, construction and reconstruction were not allowed.
Sahat Tepe Restaurant
The cult establishment was demolished mercilessly in 1975. The idea of the then totalitarian government was to erect a huge concrete giant on the site of the beautiful building with the same function as the Stadion restaurant, for example, which fortunately did not materialize. The restaurant was the most ecological establishment, ventilated from all sides, and the music rang out in the 4 corners of Plovdiv.
Home of Charity and Public Health
Only once in its history did the Bulgarian parliament adopt a law with complete unanimity. This miracle happened at the end of December 1926. The law was voted on in an unmemorably short time, all deputies except one announced that they agreed, and finally jumped to their feet and began to applaud wildly. Thus, the National Assembly legalized the House of Charity and Public Health in Plovdiv, and then sent an address of thanks to the donor, Dimitar Kudoglu.
It was a massive building on today's central square, which was supposed to become a center for the fight against the most dangerous diseases, and primarily tuberculosis. Kudoglu supplied all the equipment and modern technology, and two tobacco warehouses near the Central Station were to provide the support "for all time".
The House of Charity and Public Health was opened on November 8, 1927, St. Dimitar’s Day. This was the first establishment of its kind in the Balkans. Its furnishings were remarkable, the equipment could be envied not only by healthcare facilities in our country, but also in developed countries.
On April 18, 1928, an earthquake hit Plovdiv. The building donated by Dimitar Kudoglu was so damaged that the municipality prohibited any movement of trucks and cars past it. The donor fully financed the repairs, having previously sent money from Dresden for the injured Plovdiv residents. Thanks to the funds sent by Kudoglu, the following year the massive building was completely restored, and experts declared that it was now invulnerable to any natural element.
Alas, who would have guessed that in 1951 the House of Charity and Public Health would be dismantled by government decree, three years later the foundation would be liquidated, and in 1973 local party dignitaries would sign the building's death warrant in order to provide for the extension of the post office.