Abandoned Strawberry House.

The banker Dimitar Ivanov and his wife Nadezhda Stankovic had the house constructed in the late 1920s. The reception hall features a striking red marble fireplace, while the interior doors are adorned with crystal glasses. The house includes multiple bedrooms, lovely terraces, a spacious study room, and service rooms. Unfortunately, none of the furniture has been preserved, but it is well-known that affluent residents of Sofia during that era favored furniture from Central and Western Europe.

The front yard of the house faces the street and is separated from the sidewalk by a lovely wrought iron fence. There is a grand triple staircase leading to the entrance of the house. What’s particularly impressive are the special entrances for carriages and horses on both sides of the yard. I can still picture the invited family arriving in a carriage through one entrance, while the horses and carriage wait in the specially designed space behind the house. They would stay there until the reception is over and then exit through the other entrance.

Banker Ivanov’s family enjoyed a happy life in their house, but everything changed in 1944. The property was taken over by the government after the war and became the Romanian embassy. Eventually, it transformed into the USSR’s commercial representation in Bulgaria and served as the headquarters for various communist structures with uncertain intentions.

The house from the 90s was given back to the descendant of the original owner, Dimitar Ivanov. Valentin Zlatev, the Lukoil director, has owned the property since 2004 but hasn’t shown any interest in its cultural significance. The once beautiful house, which was in ruins for many years, remains sadly neglected.

Tell this story to those who appreciate old houses.

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