Akademic Ivan Evstratiev Geshov is another famous Bulgarian politician born in Plovdiv. He is a very debatable figure in our history- some even call „The Bulgarian Faust“. He was one of the most educated men of his time ( akademik in Bulgarian university system is a higher rank than professor). His first political action was in 1877, during the bloody suppressing of the uprising of bulgarians by the Ottoman empire.
He used his connections in Britain and „Times“ posted 7 of his materials about the violence of the turkish soldiers. As a result of many factors (mostly the public opinion in the Great powers- we have to mention not only Geshov contributed for this, but after all, his articles had huge impact over the renome of the Ottoman empire) Russia declare war against the turks and the won liberating Bulgaria in 1878 . As soon as he was out of the turkish prison for his articles, he became vital part of our political picture by this time. He was 3 times minister in 3 different Bulgarian governments, he continued his work as a journalist ( he was the creator of the biggest and most popular even now newspaper for Plovdiv- „Maritca“), he created Bulgarian Red Cross organization and Bulgarian academy of science! In 1897 Geshov took 25 % of the bequest of one of the biggest philantropists in our history- Evlogi Georgiev, making him… the new richest man in Bulgaria. He used many of this money to continue the work of Georgiev, helping talanted people, Bulgarian Red Cross, building schools and so on. The reason why he is knows as „the Bulgarian Faust“ is because of his actions when he became everything a politician can possibly want- he was educated, smart man, incredibly respected by Bulgarians, the wealthiest man in Bulgaria, possibly in top 5 of Balkan Peninsula and as a result in 1911 he became a Prime minister. By this time everybody in the world knew there will be a war in our region soon.
So he decided to become alliy with Greece and Serbia with really bad agreement clauses- Bulgaria should fight alone against 70 % of the turkish armies alone and also Macedonia ( the small country that liberated itself from Yugoslavia in the 90`s) was supposed to be shared by the allies which was against Stefan Stambolov`s (former Prime minister) idea of waiting for the Great war and joining the forses of Britain and France (100 years from now we know for sure that that was a great idea).
He thought Great war will not come soon and the Bulgarians in Macedonia will be under turkish slavery many more years. So in 1912 he declared war against the Ottoman empire and he won, but here comes why he is known as „Bulgarian Faust“- after the war most of the Bulgarians that were under turkish slavery, became under greek and serbian ones- far more worse, because they started ethnic cleaning of the region as soon as they took their part of the deal. So he decided to declare second war against his allies and of course turks declare war against Bulgaria just to gain back some of the territories they have lost just months ago. Facing an enemy with 3.4-4 times bigger armies,attacking us from all sides, Geshov surrenders, losing most of the teritorries, he had won and making the situation for Bulgarians outside of Bulgaria even worse. During the two wars Bulgarians lost over 120 000 people, which is huge number for our 4 million population by this time. By the end of his life he donates millions of his money ( probably 30-45 million euro in todays money) to Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization, Red Cross organization for actions in Macedonia and the other nonBulgarian parts of Bulgaria. He dies by the age of 75 as one of the biggest philantropists in our history, successful minister, father of Bulgarian science and… such a faillure as a Prime minister that most of the good things he had done are not remembered .
Plovdiv Tours thanks Y.Ovcharov for the inspiring blog entry!
Zlatio Boyadjiev is one of the most famous bulgarian artists, and there is some speculation that he might be the most expensive one! Just a few months ago the Plovdiv City Gallery had an exhibition dedicated to him and we , the PlovdivTours team, think its high time we featured him in our blog!
PS : We pass right by his house on the tour!
As many of you may know, Plovdiv is a city full of history and famous people.
We want to stop your attention on one particular person in bulgarian history, whose story is only mentioned in our tours because of lack of time- doctor Konstantin Stoilov.
The house of Doctor Konstantine Stoilov in Plovdiv.
In our tours we only pass by his house, but in our history he is real stepping stone. Born in Plovdiv, Stoilov studied at Robert College in Istanbul, before studying law at Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg to doctorate level. It is believed that he knew perfectly turkish, german, italian, french, russian and english and he is described as the most European-like politician in Bulgarian history. Stoilov was twice Prime Minister of Bulgaria (1894-1899). Between 1879-1885 he took different jobs in the government and the tsar`s administration. In 1885 he was a soldier in Bulgarian army in our war against Serbia and even won a Bravery medal.
Few years later he became vital part of Stefan Stambolov`s government- one of the masterminds in bulgarian new history. Stambolov was a genius man ( and we will be glad to tell you more about his inspiring story on our tours), but also really cruel one and in one point Stoilov could not stand anymore and resign. From this moment, they became rivals. Stoilov claimed Stambolov was a dictator, while Stambolov said Stoilov was too soft to be a politician in Bulgaria. In 1894 Stoilov became a prime minister „dethroning“ Stambolov. Despite of his hate, he continued Stambolov economic politic and by the end of his mandate, Bulgaria was the richest country in the region.
This blogpost is courtesy of Yasen Ovcharov.
Traditional Bulgarian yogurt cold soup
ew things are so traditionally Bulgarian as Tarator. It is one of the most beloved and easy to make Bulgarian dishes.
1 long cucumber, chopped or grated (we prefer it peeled)
1 garlic clove, minced or smashed
4 cups yoghurt
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt (we like it saltier)
1 tablespoon dill, finely chopped
4 big pecans, well crushed
3 teaspoons olive oil
Put all those together and mix well. When ready garnish with olive oil (or other favorite oil).
Best when chilled.
Hint: Try it with no dills and pecans – Bulgarian restaurants favorite.
Tarator is a cold summer soup made of yogurt and cucumbers. It is served chilled. Local variations may replace yogurt with water and vinegar, omit nuts or dill, or add bread. The cucumbers may on rare occasions be replaced with lettuce or carrots.
A tarator popcikle :
If you add gelatine to your tarator you can get interesting results
Bulgarian costumes are different in all parts of the country. Here we have selected a few interesting examples which we hope you would enjoy 🙂
If you are walking on the main street of Plovdiv you will notice a bronze statue of a man sitting on the steps infront of the Bar Kaligula, this is Milio , one of Plovdivs symbolic figures.
Brandes by some as a „harmless crazy“ he lived in the city in the sixties and was a famous gossip. The legend goes that he knew the gossips of the whole town and told them to everyone interested (and occasionaly uninterested) in them.
He was a muse for several famous Bulgarian artists, most notably the world famous Zlatio Boyadjiev.
Today is the Night of the Museums and Galleries!
Is anyone else excited about it?
In the ninth edition of the event part will take The archeological museum, The ethnographic museum, The regional museum of history and many more.
Plovdiv tours recommends that you just go to the city centre tonight, get a brochure (there are brochures in |English too) and a map and start exploring!
Remember, tonight all museums and galleries work late and there is no entrance fee!
Dont forger to visit the official page for more details!
If you are visiting plovdiv on the 24th if March you will have the oportunity to see how we, Bulgarians celebrate the creation of our alphabet by the brothers and Bulgarian Saints Cyril and Methody.
The brothers Cyril and Methody were born in Thessaloniki (today in Greece) but they practiced missionary work in the middle east and the Slavic countries. They created the first alphabet used in Slavic manuscripts – the Glagolic alphabet. Later on they created the more elaborate Cyrillic alphabet named after one of the brothers.
The creation of the Cyrillic alphabet marks a great point in Bullgarian history.
They were the first to translate the Bible in Slavic which was historicly very important for all the Slavic countries because until then only those who knew Hebrew, Latin оr Greek could read the Bible or understand the sermons (which until then were held in Greek, although the population did not speak the language). The creation of the alphabet held an extremely important role for the separation and distinction of the Bulgarian church from the Greek one.
The day of the brother saints is celebrated by Bulgarian pupil, students teachers and universities. There are Processions on the main streets of towns, flowers are put in front the statues of the saints and many schools hold recitals
During those celebrations the Anthem of the Brothers Cyrill and Methody is sung and you can hear it here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLcqe368uik
Did you know that on the 6th of May Bulgaria celebrates the day of the Christian Saint George?
It is a national holiday, and also the day we, Bulgarians , celebrate the Valiance of the of the Bulgarian Army.
During the Communist days of Bulgaria the day was celebrated as a day of the shepard.
The day of Saint George is one of the most celebrated holidays in Bulgaria, not only because it is in the beginning of spring, but also because George is one of the most common Bulgarian names.It is estimated that more than 180 thousand men in Bulgaria are named George (Georgi). On the same day women named Gergana ( the female version of the name Georgi) celebrate too.
The day of saint George was really important for Bulgarians in the past. It was believed that he helps the crops grow and blesses the morning dew, so early in the morning they walked in the pastures and meadows and collected dew, washed their face, hands and feet in it for good luck and even in some rural parts of Bulgaria it was a custom to roll in it naked.
It is also believed that on Saint Georges day herbs have special magical powers and that it was the best day to break evil spells and make good fertility spells. It was a custom (a somewhat barbaric one ) that every Christian home should kill a lamb.The lamb to be offered was picked in different ways- some picked the firs lamb to be born that year, some the first to go out of the barn, some the first white or black lamb etc. Then the lamb was fed with bread, salt, fresh grass and herbs. It was given holy water to drink and sometimes a priest blessed it.
In different parts of Bulgaria there were different customs about where the lamb should be killed.
Some believed that it should be killed in the home, to bring prosperity to the family, others that it should be killed in the fields as an offering to God and as a prayer that the crops would be good.
Nowadays although seldom families kill their own lambs it is a custom to cook lamb and gather the whole family around the table on Saint Georges day.