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Monument to Alexander Stamboliyski

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The monument to Alexander Stamboliyski stands proudly in front of the Sofia National Opera and Ballet building near the central entrance. Sculpted by Prof. Marko Markov, the full-length figure immortalizes the great agricultural leader. The specific location for the statue holds historical significance. In 1921, the Bulgarian Agrarian National Union (BZNS) purchased the land where the opera house now stands, intending to construct the new party headquarters. However, this plan was not realized for various reasons in the ensuing decades. Following the events of September 9, 1944, architect Lazar Parashkevanov’s project transformed the building into both the party headquarters and an opera house. The opera house’s construction concluded in 1953, and from 1957, it also served as the party headquarters. For an extended period, the entire structure bore the name “Alexander Stamboliyski” memorial home.

Alexander Stoimenov Stamboliyski, born on March 1, 1879, in the village of Slavovitsa, Pazardzhik, was drawn to agricultural ideas from a young age. He participated in the founding congress of the Bulgarian Agricultural Union and pursued studies in Germany, focusing on philosophy and agronomy. Although tuberculosis prevented him from completing his education, he returned to Bulgaria, immersing himself in active political life. Stamboliyski played a prominent role as a national representative in multiple Ordinary National Assemblies and Grand National Assemblies. His leadership in the agricultural sector was unparalleled in the Kingdom.

Opposing Bulgaria’s involvement in World War I, Stamboliyski became a key political figure after the Thessaloniki Armistice. In 1919, he served as the Minister of Public Buildings, Roads, and Public Works in Theodor Teodorov’s coalition government. Later that year, on October 6, he became the Prime Minister of Bulgaria. During his tenure, he signed the Neue Diktat on November 27, 1919, breaking his pen in disagreement with the harsh clauses imposed by the victorious states. Stamboliyski governed Bulgaria until June 9, 1923, when he was ousted in a coup orchestrated by the Military Union and the People’s Agreement. The agricultural leader met his tragic end on June 14, 1923, when he was assassinated in his villa in the village of Slavovitsa by members of the Military Intelligence Service.

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