In the past, the arrival of circus troupes in the city under the hills was a real event, and the place where the whole camp was located was known to everyone. The big tent stretched at the eastern end of the Gulbahcha neighborhood, to the dusty road that led to the station. The area was almost deserted, so there was room for both the tents of the trainers and the cages of the beasts. A few steps away was the famous Aladzha Mosque.
There is not a stone left of it today. And on the place used by the old circuses, now stands the building of the Plovdiv municipality. However, it was not built for this purpose, but as a District House, ie House of the District Standing Committee. Thanks to this committee, many representative buildings were erected, and until the autumn of 1910 the employees in it didn’t have their own roof. Shortly after the decision to build it, the commission bought the vacant land from the heirs of the Maliadi family, and a month later a competition was announced among Bulgarian architects. Thus, on April 15, 1911, the winner was the project of the well-known architect Nikola Neshov. Keep in mind that the building was not built according to its overall plan - in fact, it was supposed to reach the Main Street, but this wing remains unrealized. From then on, the most difficult thing was to secure funds for the construction. However, for years the District Standing Committee had been prudently accumulating money in a special fund and was ready to start construction immediately.
The foundation stone of the building was laid at the very beginning of 1912. Apart from the enthusiastic shouts, there were also critical rumors. Some people did not agree with the District House being built almost on the outskirts of the city, as most important institutions were located near the Maritsa River.
The house was fully completed in early 1915. It had 50 rooms, a large meeting room, and central heating was installed.
The district doctor, the Mobile Agricultural Department, the District Engineering, the Bureau for Cooperative Water Supply of the Population were the first to settle in it. A few years later, the District Museum moved there. The prominent researcher and writer Stoyu N. Shishkov became its curator. After 1920, the most representative art exhibitions were arranged in the District Palace.
From the summer of 1934 the building became the seat of the district director. Memories of that time are the heavy metal doors and the prison peepholes in the dungeons. In 1948, the regional directorate was closed, but it was still a long time before the mayor of Plovdiv received the key to the office of the former regional chief.
The book The Forgotten City by Vladimir Balchev is used as a basis for the text.
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