THE HOUSE OF ARGIR KUYUMZDHIOGLU
One of the most picturesque places in the old part of Plovdiv is around Hisar Kapiya – the old city gate, above which rises the magnificent facade of the Kuyumdzhieva House. Specialists define it as the top of Baroque architecture in Bulgaria. It was built in 1847 by master Hadji Georgi Stanchovski from the Rhodope village of Kosovo. The building has an impressive size – four floors, each covering an area of 570 square meters, two large parlours, twelve rooms (all of them with unique wood-carved ceilings) and over 130 windows. The emphasis is placed on the imposing reception parlour (hayet) on the second floor, arching and projecting above the portico towards the yard. The reception parlour is characterized by its oval central part and its beautifully shaped wooden ceiling, supported by a high and beautifully painted chamfer. The western façade of the house is placed at the end of a large yard and it has a unique and impressive form copying the shape of a wave-shaped carrying yoke. The eastern façade of the house was built upon the ancient fortified wall and it is an inseparable part of the ensemble of Hisar Kapiya. After the Bulgarian Independence, Kuyumdzhioglu’s heirs rented out the building and it acquired new functions. At the end of the 19th century, it was a boarding school for girls and later became a hat factory, a vinegar factory, and a flour warehouse. At the end of the 1920s, it was bought by the tobacco merchant Antonio Collaro. In 1938, on the initiative of Mayor Bozhidar Zdravkov, the Plovdiv Municipality and the Ministry of Public Education signed a protocol for the creation of a Municipal House-Museum, whose successor is now the Regional Ethnographic Museum – Plovdiv. Since 1943, the house monument has been open to visitors. Presently, the unique house is a National Monument of Culture.