Ivan Vazov owes his moniker “Patriarch of Bulgarian Literature” due to his significant merits to the Bulgarian Renaissance in the 19th and 20th century and the literature post Bulgaria’s liberation from Ottoman sway.
Nestled among the gorgeous buildings of downtown Sofia, at the corner of G.S. Rakovski Str and Ivan Vazov Str is Ivan Vazov’s house. It is a centre of spirituality, enlightenment, and morale where contemporary exhibitions related to Bulgarian art, poetry, and literature are usually held.
The house belongs to the National Literary Museum which was incepted in 1976 as a separate legal entity attached to the Art and Culture Committee. Its aim is “searching for, collecting, storing, researching, publishing, and displaying the material and documentary monuments related to the overall history of Bulgarian literature from the foundation of the Bulgarian state to the present day and in the future”.
A few days after the decease of Ivan Vazov in September 1921, following an order from the then Ministry of Enlightenment, the house was transformed into a museum.
Ivan Vazov’s house was erected in 1895. There, the lived and worked the longest. One of the rooms on the first floor exhibits an art documentation, displaying some of the one-of-a-kind awards and gifts which the poet was bestowed with for his two jubilees in 1895 and 1920.
Visitors go to the second floor via a broad wooden ladder and over its parapet, there are greeting cards with the original signatures by eminent personalities of the time, including the museum’s first curator – Elin Pelin.
The unique spiritual ambience of the place is further strengthened by the personal library, paintings, portraits, and personal objects and belongings of the remarkable literary activist.
At the museum, visitors can go around the writer’s study, dining room, and bedroom.