The house with the “crown”

Architect: Adolf Vaclav Kolar/ Karl Heinrich
Year: 1890/1909
Address: 45, Knyaz Alexander Dondukov Blvd.
Contemporary use: Bank office

The house with the “crown” is like a treasure from the beginning of the last century, which we find among the big changes and reconstructions on Dondukov Boulevard during the years. The house was originally built in end of the 19th century on the project of the first chief architect of Sofia – Adolf Vaclav Kolar. In 1909 it was upgraded to its present look by another foreigner – Carl Heinrich. And if we imagine the beautiful pillars in the middle of the boulevard carrying electric lamps and tram lines, we can successfully recreate the image of Dondukov Boulevard during the first decades of the 20th century. Georgi Georgov’s family-owned building (the building probably belonged to various members of the Georgov family over the years) had its “spirit of place”, which kept it during the times of reconstruction and construction of new buildings along the boulevard after 1944. The same applies to the former building of the Prague Credit Bank. The two buildings are built on common construction line in contrast to the multi-storey building of the socialist period, which, with a new urban design, is pulled back behind a wide pavement.

But Georgov’s house would have been an architectural treasure on every street in Sofia because of the angular tower, whose sharp peak was “cut off” and shaped like an iron “crown”. The beauty of the building does not end here because of the unique facades that recreate a “game” with different decorative elements and motifs. Shapely pilasters with Corinthian capitals and lion heads (on the facade of the boulevard), curved or triangular pediments are beautifying the facades. Аn elegant loggia is located between the pilasters for the convenience and prestige of Georgov’s family. Georgi was born in Veles and studied agriculture in Croatia and the Czech Republic. After the Liberation he began to work for the development of Bulgarian agriculture. He was one of the founders of the first exemplary farms in the country and a member of natural science societies, traded with seeds and was the director of New York Insurance Company. But he did not write the history of his family alone. His father was a participant in the Kresna-Razlog Uprising, which tried to defend the unity of the Bulgarian ethnical land. His brother Ilia was a deputy and the other brother Ivan, with his impressive education from Vienna, Jena, Geneva and Leipzig, was the rector of the Sofia University. He has been in charge for the longest time before 1944 – five years of office. We leave this house, recently renewed, so that it reminds us of the Bulgarians of the past century, who worked and built for themselves but also for the progress of the whole nation.