Plovdiv Regional Ethnographic Museum
The Plovdiv Regional Ethnographic Museum (Bulgarian: Регионален етнографски музей — Пловдив, Regionalen etnografski muzey — Plovdiv) is a museum of ethnography in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Since 1938, it has occupied the 1847 house of the rich merchant Argir Kuyumdzhioglu in the city's Old Town. The museum features six exhibitions, each occupying a separate room.
Although there had been plans to organize a museum of ethnography in Plovdiv as early as 1891, it was not until 1917 that a Regional Museum was established thanks to the efforts of Stoyu Shishkov, a local scholar and journalist. Shishkov was the museum's first secretary and only employee. Even though the museum had gathered a collection of around 500 items by 1930 and despite Shishkov's opposition, in 1931–32 that collection was transferred to the Plovdiv National Library and Museum. In 1938, the museum was revived as the Municipal Museum House thanks to mayor of Plovdiv Bozhidar Zdravkov and was organized in the Kuyumdzhioglu House. The museum was officially reopened on 14 October 1943; six years later, in 1949, the Municipal Museum House became the People's Ethnographic Museum. A permanent exhibition was arranged in 1952 and revised substantially in 1962.
Today, the Plovdiv Regional Ethnographic Museum has a collection of over 40,000 exhibits distributed among the Agriculture, Crafts, Fabrics and Clothing, Furniture and Interior, Musical Instruments, Religious Items and Works of Art funds. In addition, the museum boasts a scholarly archive, a library and a photo archive.
The Kuyumdzhioglu House, the museum's home, was built in 1847 for the Plovdiv merchant Argir Hristov Kuyumdzhioglu, reportedly of Greek origin. Kuyumdzhioglu was a prominent homespun trader who owned a company in Vienna. The house was constructed by the master Hadzhi Georgi from the Rhodopean village of Kosovo and has been described as a prime example of Plovdiv's specific mid-19th century Baroque architecture. The house has a symmetric facade; it is two stories tall on its west side and four stories tall on its east side, employing the natural denivelation. The Kuyumdzhioglu House lies near the Plovdiv Old Town's eastern gate, the Fortress Gate (Хисар капия, Hisar kapia), and spreads over 570 square metres (6,100 sq ft). It has 12 rooms and airy salons. Both the house's interior and exterior decoration rely on sophisticated floral motives. The ceiling in each room is wood-carved. The house has an inner yard with a garden.
After the Liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman rule in 1878, Argir Kuyumdzhioglu left Plovdiv to settle in Istanbul (Constantinople). From 1898 to 1902, the house was used as a girls' boarding house. Until 1930, when it was acquired by Hamburg-based Greek tobacco merchant Antonio Colaro, it was used by Garabet Karagyozyan's millinery factory, as a flour warehouse and as a vinegar factory. Colaro intended to demolish the house and build a tobacco warehouse, though he was denied permission by the Plovdiv municipality, which reconstructed the house and organized the museum.
- "History". Plovdiv Regional Ethnographic Museum. 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-15.
- Делев, Петър et al. (2006). "Стопанска активност на възрожденските българи". История и цивилизация за 11. клас (in Bulgarian). Труд, Сирма.
- "The house". Plovdiv Regional Ethnographic Museum. 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-15.
- Терзиева, Екатерина (2006-06-14). "Къщата със 130-те прозореца" (in Bulgarian). Сега. Retrieved 2009-07-15.
- "21-о Народно събрание; 17 юни 1926 г." (in Bulgarian). Народно събрание на Република България.
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- Official website (English) (Bulgarian)