Architect: Georgi Fingov, Dimo Nichev, Nikola Yurukov Year: 1910-1913 Address: 19, Moskovska Str
For the fascinating building of the old Bank of Sofia, we should be grateful to the architects Fingov, Nichev and Yurukov, who contributed a lot to the beauty of Sofia (expect to meet many more works of the three architects at historicalroutes.bg). In this case there was like everything necessary to build a perfect building – a corner site, a location on a historical street near the Royal Palace, the client with the resources of a banking institution and the talent of not one but three notable architects. The result is as true perfection, but not just because of the beautiful dome and sculpture of Mercury, the Roman god of money, eloquence and trade (a wonderful combination of banking), and because of the overall impact of individual elements and decorations. Take a look at the Medusa masks on the ground floor windows, the angular balconies with the balustrades (the miniature columns on the railing), the bay windows overlooking to Benkovski Street, which elegantly unite the second and third floors. Look delightfully at the entrance of Moskovska Street, which is an architectural landmark by its own with the two eagles, as if they came from the standards of Roman legions to protect the bank.
The splendid architectural style of the Secession can be easily found out of the facades here. Then we can reveal something more – the great mission of architecture to create beauty and inspire respect for that beauty during all ages. In this case the mission is fulfilled and today the building is impeccably renovated as it continues to be a bank (it houses the head office of one of the largest banks in Bulgaria). But in order to feel the building and its spirit better, we must go back in 1913 when the building was finished (or its project was finished to some sources). At the same time, Bulgaria was at a war. In March it was the Bulgarian feat of capturing the Adrianople that had been thought to be untouchable. It was the factual end of the Balkan War. The end of the conflict between the Balkan Union and the Ottoman Empire was the beginning of the open contradictions between the ambitious allies Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece. In June, Bulgaria quickly remained alone against five countries in the Second Balkan War which lasted for one month. The beautiful old bank is from the times of triumph, quickly replaced by a national tragedy with a total of 166,000 killed and wounded. And despite these troubled times, the great desire of Bulgarians to be an integral part of the European world did not stop to lead talented architects and forward-looking entrepreneurs to create buildings that hold the spirit of Sofia 100 years later.