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Chitalishte Ivan Vazov – 1904 – Plovdiv

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Chitalishte Ivan Vazov – 1904 – Plovdiv

About us:

The chitalishte’s patron is the writer and public figure Ivan Vazov who was enjoying wide popularity and commanded public respect in the year in which it was established (1904). It was situated in the house of Krastyo Niklanovich in Nova mahala [New neighbourhood] and immediately acquired a library with books donated by its members. An “entertainment committee for conducting literary-musical and comic soirees” was established within the community cultural center, together with a male choir, a theatre troupe, as well as a gymnastics group; exhibitions and lectures were organized, even courses in accounting, while the neighbourhood children could attend a day care center. During the wars in the first two decades of the 20th century, the building of the chitalishte was turned into a hospital and served as a house for the refugees from Eastern Thrace, the Aegean and Aegean Macedonia. After the wars, the center gradually resumed its activities as a cultural and educational hub. In 1920, marking the 70th anniversary of Ivan Vazov the chitalishte organized celebratory festivities and the writer himself donated a collection of his own books to the library. In 1938 it was designated as “central” and it was authorized to receive from Plovdiv municipality and distribute the credits that were allocated for the support of all the other local chitalishta. This led to animosity and objections among other such centers and the activities of Ivan Vazov community cultural center gradually subsided, a situation further exacerbated by the loss of its premises after the earthquake of 1928 which seriously damaged the building and necessitated its demolition. The chitalishte’s property was sold, the books packed and put in storage; there were hardly any exhibitions or performances organized. After 1944, the center resumed its activities in its new premises – a pub, which housed the library as well. The activities involved discussions, readers’ conferences and thematic evenings; the first for the country chitalishte ballet group was set up; there was also a people’s university. The 1950s witnessed a boost in the center’s activities since it was merged with Georgi S. Rakovski community cultural center. A choir and a dance group were established, a theatre school, a string orchestra; there were also lecture programs, a language school as well as groups for pre-school language learning. Due to the latter, the chitalishte acquired 3 additional buildings from the Municipal council. At the beginning of the 1990s, following the newly adopted restitution laws, the community cultural center found itself without premises again until it was given a two-storey building within the structure of Ancient Plovdiv Municipal Institute.

At present, the center‘s activities are mostly related to its library; there are 3 clubs, 2 art schools; its organizes and participates in cultural events, readings, creative gatherings, exhibitions and meetings. The center marks holidays related to cultural and historical memory and participates in projects.

If you would like to find out more, see Information card of the chitalishte in the Regional Expert Consultation and Information Centers (RECIC).

Director:  Borislav Iliev Valchanov

Secretary:   Sashko Borisov Mateev

Address:  33 P. R. Slaveykov Str.

Phone:  +359 32/632064

E-mail:     [email protected]



  • Working hours
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  • Saturday:
  • How to get there
  • 33 P. R. Slaveykov Str.

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