Tale of a House


Rousse, Insurance Company 'Bulgaria', 1891-1944. Communist Police headquarters, 1944-1990.

Insurance company headquarters, 1891-1944
Communist Police headquarters 1944-1990

The Bulgarian city of Rousse is a true gem of Fin de Siècle architecture. Craftsmen and architects sailed down the Danube from Vienna and further afield, shaping a distinctly Central European look -- plenty of Neo-Baroque, Neoclassicism, Art Nouveau…

More than 250 buildings were listed and carefully preserved. Others were less lucky though. Take this one in the city's main drag, King Alexander II street: designed by an Austrian and decorated by an Italian master in 1891 for the country's largest insurance company.

After the Communist takeover the house became the Police headquarters and remained a place of sorrow and pain till the 1990s. The frescoes were covered in plaster or destroyed. For many the house stands as a reminder of times they would rather forget. Its future is now uncertain.

More on this Balkan Mitteleuropa

Contact info

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
London, Sofia, Sarajevo, Moscow

About us

MyCentury.tv is about history on camera. We are hoping you'll share your photos and video with us. We'd like you to get involved, to show history from your point of view.