“The house with the strawberries”
Konstantin Fichev – descendant of Kolyu Ficheto
One of my first clear memories of childhood is associated with my grandfather. Walking around the small pavement around the “Doctor’s Garden” he tells me about beautiful houses located in this part of city. In every walk of our longest we stopped in front of the house of San Stefano str. №6 or so-called “House of strawberries.”
The house was built in the late twenties of the Twentieth century for the banker Dimitar Ivanov and his wife Nadezhda Stankovic. The house was designed by graduate in Vienna and Karlsruhe bulgarian architect Georgi Kunev.
The interior of the house is focused on the red marble fireplace located in the reception hall. There is also a platform for musicians and doors with a crystal glass. Several bedrooms, beautiful terraces, big office and rooms for servants. None of the furniture is preserved, but it was known that residents of the high society at the time, prefer furniture from central and western Europe.
The exterior of the house represent a large front yard to the street, separated from pavement with a splendid wrought iron fence. A triple staircase lead to the entrance of the house. But always very great impression make separate portals for coaches and carriages from both sides of the yard. Even today, I imagine how the cab with the guest shall enter into the yard of the house through the one of the portals. Then the coachman with the horses and carriage remain in the allotted space behind the house, adapted especially for this while awaiting the reception to over and again to get out of the yard, but in the other portal.
The family of the banker lived happily in the house until 1944. After the war, the property was nationalized and initially it houses the Romanian Embassy. In later years the building housed the Soviet trade representation in Bulgaria, as well as head offices of administration of the various communist structures with unclear purpose.
In 1990 the house was restituted and returned to the successor of the first owner, the banker Dimitar Ivanov. Since 2004 the property is owned by the director of Lukoil Valentin Zlatev, who has not yet been shown to have any attitude on this monument. The beautiful house in the past, now is crumbling for decades and causes quite sad thoughts.