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Brakalov's house
between Dimitar Brakalov and the Ethnographic Museum

One of the most emblematic houses in the town of Burgas, which has preserved the spirit of past times and is currently used as a museum building, is known as the Brakalov's house.

The house was built in 1873, under the direct orders of Dimitar Brakalov himself, and as far as the particular composition of the distribution is concerned - it is his personal work, as the architect Sirkarov writes in his book Architecture of Burgas (2010). The house is included in the group of buildings around the church of St. St. Cyril and Methodius. "It is situated freely in a large plot of about 1600 m2, which is well-maintained and decorated with a beautiful flowers, orchard and vineyard, raised on a wooden structure that forms a passage from the courtyard to the main entrance of the house.

The building is on two floors, with a high basement used as a ground floor. This is followed by a normal residential floor and an upper roof that occupies the central part. The ground floor consisted of one outdoor and one indoor lounge with four rooms. The upper floor had an external lounge with four rooms and an interior with five rooms. The roof part had a secret connection to the floors behind the ceiling - a hiding place and a door to the roof. The main entrance of the house was accessed via a two-sided, two-pillared staircase and an archway. The construction of the building is made of thick outer and inner bearing brick walls, a timber joist with plank flooring made of wide mats, a sloping roof and Turkish tiles. It is only here, for the first time, that brief information is given about the interior of the house. It was shaped by wall hollows, planked walls and ceilings, jams (windows), etc., to give the character of late Renaissance architecture.
However, the arch. Sirkarov that the diverse use of the building as a dwelling, school, hotel, home of Soviet citizens, kindergarten, etc., as well as the various owners after the death of Dimitar Brakalov in 1903, caused many changes in the layout and facades. (Sirkarov 2010, 258-259)

The earliest document giving information about what the building was used for is the protocol of August 10, 1916, kept in the State Archives of Burgas (State Administration of Burgas, F 70K, op.1, a.e.65). It describes the commission's decision not to renovate the building of D. Brakalov's heirs, which at that time served the girls' high school and that from September 1 of the same year it was vacated and the agreed rent ceased to run. The following information, which can be judged to be inhabited a year or two after this protocol, is a reference to Smaragda Paskaleva Dobreva, born in 1911 and living in the house at age 6-7, circa 1917-1918. d. She remembers exactly which floor they lived in, how many people in one room, and who were lodgers in the other rooms. From her memories we understand that there were Italians on the second floor and when they left the house she was bought by Stoyan Keranov and turned into a hotel.
The exact year of acquisition of the house by Stoyan Keranov is unknown to us, but the information is confirmed by Hr. V. Dimitrov. In her book, she is dedicated to the cathedral "St. St. Cyril and Methodius ", and published in 1930 in Burgas by Zora Printing House - PR Hrusanov, describing D. Brakalov's house, it is mentioned that he already owned a" Brakalov "hotel owned by St. Keranov. The famous physician in Burgas Magardich Stepan Melkonyan remembers such a hotel, which in a manuscript is entitled “My hometown of Burgas. Memories of the 1930s - 1945s, from 1996, on page 65 reads: In the building of the present Ethnographic Museum on Slavyanskaya Street there was also such a hotel with the inscription "Brakalov Family Hotel". How long Keranov's hotel exists is not yet clear. But the following data for the building are for the period 1939 - 1947. At that time, Alexander Stoyanov, born in 1914 in Yambol, worked in the Agricultural Chamber and lived in the house in which it was located, namely the Brakalov House. According to him, there were three rooms below the stairs. The first room on the left was the veterinary department, the second on the left was the secretary. The first on the right was the servant Bai Mikhail Mollov, the next was the cashier. In the veterinary department worked Jacko Kabaivanski, father of opera prima Raina Kabaivanska, who at the time was a veterinarian in the city. On the second floor were the dwellings, which were accessed through the outer stairs. In 2011, a visitor from Russia entered the Ethnographic Exposition, who recognized the house as the primary school she had studied during her stay in Burgas and, in her memory, in May 1946 an elementary school for Russian was organized in the Brakalov House. elementary school children. And in the early 60's of the XX century there was a nursery, which many Burgas people remembered.



In 2011, a visitor from Russia entered the Ethnographic Exposition, who recognized the house as the primary school she had studied during her stay in Burgas and, according to her memories, in May 1946 an elementary school for Russian was organized in the Brakalov House. elementary school children. And in the early 60's of the XX century there was a nursery, which many Burgas people remembered. The history of the Brakalov House is a subject of interest from other researchers of Burgas historical memory, such as Katya Koruderlieva - Stoyanova, who also provides valuable information and confirms the above-mentioned in her book “Memory of Burgas. In 1976 the restoration of the Brakalov House began for its transformation into an Ethnographic Museum, which lasted until 1980. On November 25, 1981, the Ethnographic Exposition was officially opened in Dimitar Brakalov's house.

Plamena Kirova - Ch. editor, Ethnography department of RHM Burgas
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