House of Dimitar Grekov

Architect: Otto Dörken
Year: about 1882
Address: 17, Moskovska Str



The home of the distinguished Dimitar Grekov brings us back to the exciting first years after the Liberation of Bulgaria in 1878. This building was rising as one of the most representative buildings in Sofia and on the unique Moskovska Street in the early eighties of the 19th century, (we will share information about a lot more sites on Moskovska Street, which are part of historicalroutes.bg). Initially completed around 1882 as a two-storey building with the spirit of neoclassicism, in the next years upgraded and refined, this house teaches us how the old can be renovated instead of being replaced with something new. All the three floors, although different, contribute to the unity of the building with the uniform layout of the windows. The classic image is achieved with the precise symmetry throughout the complete height of the building. The first floor is without bright ornaments, but it can be remembered for the relief facade and the massive frames of the windows. On the second floor, the windows become more remarkable because of the pilasters with Corinthian capitals (on the sides) and the pediments (above), contrasting to the already “smoothed” facade. The third floor is masterfully finished with a large triangular pediment and decoration that reflects the later Secession style.

Димитър Греков

The elegant building is a historical “source” for the life of Dimitar Grekov. He was born in Bolhrad (Bessarabia), became a lawyer in France, a doctor of legal sciences with a scholarship from the Romanian government, and then, as many other talented Bulgarians, decided to establish and work in the young Principality of Bulgaria. Intelligent, emotional, inspired, but moderate, Grekov is one of the most active participants in the establishment of the Turnovo Constitution (first Bulgarian Constitution) in 1879. The lawyer is the first in many things – one of the first activists of the Conservative Party in Bulgaria, the first chairman of the Supreme Court, the first Minister of Justice. In regard to this first Bulgarian government, he was seen to be “the most gifted in the whole cabinet” by the statesman Konstantin Stoilov. In the tense times of the Unification between the Principality of Bulgaria and Eastern Rumelia (1885), followed by the abdication of Prince Alexander I (1886), Grekov became a friend and partner of Stefan Stambolov but not only in politics but also in their common passion for the game of hazards. He moved to the Stambolov National Liberal Party and its government until 1894. In 1899, on the personal initiative of Prince Ferdinand, he was also the Prime Minister, but only for a few months. His ability to lead a balanced policy in this case was not enough for complete unity in the government and sustainable decisions during financial failures. In 1901, after having participated in the National Assembly for 7 times, the life of Dimitar Grekov ended after only 54 years. For our joy, his beautiful house is preserved to this day and reminds us of the Bulgarians, who welcomed the mission to be among the “builders” of indipendent Bulgaria.