Bucharest Saves Symbol of Bulgarian 19th Century Liberation Movement
December 8 (Martina Gancheva of BTA) - The Solakov Inn in Bucharest, probably the most remarkable of all buildings associated with modern Bulgarian history in Romania, will be restored and turned into a cultural centre, BTA learned from Iulia Bahovski, founder of the sole information portal for Bulgarians in Romania MyRo.Biz. Just last week, Bucharest City Council decided to extend 5 million leu (some 2.5 million leva) to compensate the heirs of the building's original owners and essentially acquire it.
The inn was named after the Solakoglu brothers from the Danubian city of Svishtov. Initially built as a pasta factory in 1859, it gradually became a haven for Bulgarian revolutionary immigrants in Romania. The Solakov Inn housed the press where the great Bulgarian National Revival figure Lyuben Karavelov published the newspapers "Freedom" and "Independence", as well as the "Knowledge" journal. There, too, poet and revolutionary Hristo Botev and national hero Vassil Levski spent the harsh winter of 1868, as was later described by Botev.
The glory of those times, which preceded Bulgaria's liberation from Ottoman rule, is attested by a memorial slab to Karavelov on the building's facade placed there by the Bulgarian embassy in Bucharest.
The 100-room building was nearly destroyed in the World War II bombings and then nationalized in 1948. Until the end of the 1980s it was used to house low-income people and gradually fell into disrepair and remained in that poor state long years despite its statute as a monument of culture (since 1997).
In 2003 descendants of the Solakoglu brothers succeeded in regaining their property, but it was in terrible condition. Restoring it required a considerable investment which they failed to provide.
After part of the facade fell in 2019, the Bucharest authorities launched an alienation procedure. The procedure took long, largely due to the ongoing pandemic and a change of the city authorities, until finally Bucharest City Council approved the funds for the alienation on November 26, 2021.
"The Solakov Inn is the most sacred place for Bulgaria and the Bulgarian National Revival (in Bucharest), the period of the movement for national liberation from the Ottoman Empire. Today, we have to approach with exceptional care and awareness matters related to the heart of the Bulgarian Revolutionary Central Committee, Bulgarian history and historic Bulgarian places beyond the borders of our fatherland," Anton Kanchev of the Bulgarian community in Romania told MyRo.Biz. BR/