Ethnographic-revival complex "Nikola Voivodov"

Who is Nikola Voivodov?

Nikola Hadzhikrastev Varbanov - Voivodov, was born in 1842 in Vratsa. He received his education at the Ascension School in his hometown, the French School in Bebek and the Robert College in Constantinople. An excellent master of French and English, Nikola Voivodov made his first translations while still a student in the Turkish capital, published in the magazine "Bulgarian Books". Having acquired a solid education and culture, he warmly applauded the newly established Bulgarian theater society in Braila in 1866 and sent letters in its defense.

In 1867, Nikola Voivodov, assisted by local Bulgarians in Galats and the Serb Tsvetko Pavlovich managed to organize a small but tight rebel group in a short time, which included Bulgarians, Serbs, Montenegrins and the former Russian officer Nikolay Dimitrievich Dalmatov. Elected voivode Nikola Voivodov wants "his company to have the appearance of a regular army that goes into open battle with its adversary, and not a bashibozushka band of robbers that makes a bad impression on the civilized European nations." The detachment was supposed to cross into Bulgaria via Raduevac (Serbia). In order to arrive before the Chetniks, Nikola Voivodov and the chosen flag bearer Tsvetko Pavlovich boarded the Austrian steamer Germany. This is the first case in the Bulgarian national liberation movement in which the use of a ship was resorted to for the implementation of a revolutionary action.

When, on August 20, 1867, "Germany" docked at the port of Rousse, she was met, as a result of treachery, by regular Turkish troops and police. The ship became the scene of yet another bloody violence by the Turkish authorities. After a desperate and unequal struggle, Nikola Voivodov and Tsvetko Pavlovich died heroically, true to their oath "Freedom or death".

Ethnographic-revival complex "Nikola Voivodov" is part of the Regional Historical Museum - Vratsa.

The complex includes two Renaissance houses in a typical Middle Bulgarian architectural style. In one of the rooms of Nikola Voivodov's house, there is a small photo-documentary exhibition related to the life and activities of Nikola Voivodov - a patriot of Vratsa, a freedom fighter who gave his life for the liberation of Bulgaria. The official opening was on August 21, 1967, in honor of the 100th anniversary of his death. The author of the exhibition is Nikolay Doinov, and the artist-designer is Ludmil Mladenov. The exposition was renewed in 1982 by Valeria Tarashoeva and artist - Viktor Borisov.

On May 25, 1976, another Revival house opened its doors near Nikola Voivodov's house, the so-called Captain's house. The authors of the exhibition are Nikolay Doinov and Yordanka Mankova. At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, the traditional way of life and culture of the Vratsa urban population took on a new look. The coming changes affect not only the spiritual sphere and education, but also material culture. Although slowly and with difficulty, the Vrachani began to share the Western way of life in all its manifestations. Dozens of representatives of the local intelligentsia who went abroad and the sons of wealthy Vratchans played an essential role in the dynamic changes. Having studied and lived in the cities of Western Europe, they returned to Vratsa as excellently prepared doctors, dentists, engineers, lawyers and teachers. The gradual penetration of Western European culture among the Vratchan population can be seen in the changes occurring in the furnishings of the homes. 

In the premises of the Captain's house - a bedroom, a children's room, a kitchen and a distribution room, a city home of a middle-class family from the beginning of the 20th century has been restored with original items and furniture. The exhibition presents the changes in the furniture, manufactured and factory goods brought from abroad, and the preservation of parts of the traditional arrangement of the Vratsa revival. In the house you can see both the old minders and the new Viennese furniture. A vivid example of this is the bedroom with two "Viennese" type beds, with silk bedspreads, the children's room with a bed, also "Viennese" type, and the characteristic "beshik" - a standing iron baby cradle. A large wooden chest of drawers, a carved corner mirror and a dressing table complete the European-style room furnishings. In addition to traditional cotton and silk fabrics, the home also features new fashionable knits - crocheted, Brussels lace, white embroidery, tablecloths, bedspreads and pillows, tishliners and much more. etc. In place of the small table (blue) and the three-legged stools, there is a separate kitchen - a room for storing dishes with a large table, a minderlock and a cast-iron cooking stove. Along with the traditional clay and copper dishes, such as saucers, pots, bowls, pints, etc. comes the porcelain kitchenware, trays, services and cutlery made of alpaca and silver. The most spacious and representative room in the house is the drawing room, representing the place for welcoming guests - a table with a "duck leg", wicker chairs - Viennese type, the minders, the salon dresser and the beautiful wall clock in a wooden box. 

The captain's house with ceilings made of wooden shingles, colorful rugs, long bedspreads and beds with bronze decorations confirms the feeling of cleanliness and coziness, as well as the changes that took place in post-liberation Vratsa.

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