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Daskalolivnitsa (Historical-Architectural Complex), ElenaCod 2549

Daskalolivnitsa (historical-architectural complex) is located in the city center of Elena, in Stara Planina Mountains. The complex includes seven buildings, monuments from Renaissance period. Three of them are open museum sfor public. School classes from Elena, better known as Daskalolivnitsa, the “Saint Nicholas” Church, “Khanul Kamburov”, Guneva House and Zlatevata House”. The complex is located in “Assumption” Church, which is active. Daskalolivnitsa is present in the coat of arms of Elena.

The historical-architectural complex “Daskalolivnitsa” is part of the 100 national tourist’s SITEs.

The building of the School from Elena, better known as Daskalolivnitsa” is a symbol of the city. It is one of the first civilian buildings in the city. It was built in 1844 for the needs of the first school in Bulgaria. The name of “Daskalolivnitsa” receives from Petko Slaveykov – one of the graduates of the school.

The initiative to build a school in Elena belongs to Ivan Nikolov Momtchilov – Renaissance personality, educated in Athens and Russia, who introduced modern teaching methods. One of his presentations – gymnastic lessons – brought a lot of trouble. In the mid nineteenth century in the Ottoman Empire the gym lessons were considered part of a military training and the professor Momtchilov was requested an explanation.

To built the school all people of the city of Elena have invested a lot of work. The poet P. R. Slaveykov, who was one of the graduates of the school and gave the romantic name “Daskalolivnitsa”. It is a place where Teachers “flow” , such as candle factory – shop, which poured candles. Indeed – many Bulgarian educators and teachers received Daskalolivnitsa education and cultural enlightenment continued, spreading throughout the country.

After the Liberation (1878), the building was used for some time for public hospital and then again as a school.

The building has two floors, built of stone and wood; downstairs were once three large individual enclosures that were probably shops.

Whole first floor was used for educational purposes and he had two classrooms, teacher’s room and a separate room for supplies. Today, there is an exhibition of objects of learning – textbooks, helpful manuals and an Earth globe. The building of Daskalolivnitsata was restored in 1963, and after that the exhibition was dedicated tot he history of the city of Elena from the appearance of the city to the Russo-Turkish War (anii 1877-1878).

At the ground floor there is another exhibition “Christian art from the second half of the nineteenth century”. The icons and the religious objects within the exhibition were taken from the demolished church “Archangel Michael” from the village of Shilkovtsi.

In the bottom of the court complex is Kamburov Inn, where the ethnographic collection is exhibited. Here you can see cloths for women and men, household and city’s population culture in Elena at the end of the XIXth century and early of the XXth century. The inn was located in the village of Yovkovtsi, but due to dam construction “Yovkovtsi” was dismantled and moved to Elena.

In the schoolyard there is the church “St. Nicholas”. This is the oldest place of worship in Elena and the region. The first written record of its existence dates back to 1518. In 1800, the church was burned and destroyed in the uprising of Kurdzhali and it was rebuilt in 1804, in just 40 days, the building being kept secret before the authorites. The outside architecture of the building does not draw attention, but the interior impresses with a beautiful iconostasis and murals.

Near the Church of “St. Nicholas” in 1837 was built the church of “Assumption”. Until de Liberation in 1878 it was the largest church in the north of Bulgaria long above 33 metri, 21 m width and 25 meters hight. You can learn more about the complex if you take the advantage of a guided tour.

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