“The state is the stepmother of Plovdiv”. These are the words that publicist and publicist Nedko Kableshkov repeats throughout his life.
A lawyer by profession, who voluntarily renounces big politics, deciding to help the people of the city under the hills with charity work. Nedko Kableshkov remains in history as a great donor to Plovdiv, and his good deed is remembered to this day.
Nedko was born in 1867 in the town of Koprivshtitsa and with an active life and good heart managed to live to the age of 97. He comes from the Kableshkov family, his second cousin is the prominent Bulgarian revolutionary and apostle of the April Uprising Todor Kableshkov.
“Before the uprising, Todor Kableshkov went to my great-grandfather to ask for his rifle and said: ‘You will not taste the freedom for which I am taking this rifle, but this child – and pointed to my grandfather, will live in a free Bulgaria,'” he says in front of “Maritsa” his granddaughter Raina, who unfortunately passed away two years ago.
A 9-year-old orphan, Nedko Kableshkov studied for some time in his hometown under Nikola Belovezhdov – a teacher and revolutionary who also took an active part in the April Uprising. Later, with the help of the women’s charitable society “Annunciation” in Koprivshtitsa, Nedko was sent to the Bulgarian-Catholic high school in Edirne, where he received a good education. His path continued to be outside his homeland and he graduated from law and political sciences at the university in the Ukrainian city of Lviv.
Nedko Kableshkov was only 22 years old when he was appointed prosecutor in the Plovdiv District Court. Six years later, he started his own law practice and shortly after was elected to the leadership of the college. His professional steps continue in politics, but he will soon find out that this is not his field.
First, he was a municipal councilor in the period 1899-1901, being a member of the people’s liberal Istanbul party and its city leadership. He was offered the chance to become mayor, but refused. He resigned as a municipal councilor and with an open letter to the party and friends in December 1901 renounced participation in politics to devote himself to charitable work. Something unthinkable these days.
His path of goodness is closely connected with the life of the societies “Mother’s Care”, “Invalid” and the Union for the Protection of Children. He was elected chairman of the Supreme Charity Committee in Plovdiv, and subsequently took over the management of the “Kudoglu” charity home, which was opened in Plovdiv at that time, whose founder Dimitar Kudoglou we told about last year in story #16 of “Forgotten Bulgarian Geniuses”. It is impressive that Kableshkov remained in this post for 18 years. Gradually, the home became the largest and only one of its time on the Balkan Peninsula.
Kableshkov’s range of initiatives is truly colorful. The public figure is an ideologue for erecting a monument to those who died in the wars and a monument to the Unification in Plovdiv, as well as an honorary member of the “Botev” sports club (Plovdiv). He was also a lawyer of the Plovdiv Jewish community, their defender and friend, who helped save them in 1943.
In October 1920, Nedko Kableshkov was the chairman of the jubilee committee, which organized and led the celebrations in Plovdiv on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of Ivan Vazov’s birth and 50th anniversary of his literary activity. At his suggestion, after the celebrations, “Stationionna” street was renamed “Ivan Vazov” street. In addition to everything written so far, Kableshkov made a large ethnographic donation to the municipal museum, with a part of which the foundations of the Ethnographic Museum in the city were later laid under the hills with the Koprivshten Room, which was discovered and exhibited at the time.
In the Plovdiv village of Boykovo in 1908, Kableshkov built the first villa, reforested 60 acres of pine forest and laid the foundations of the first “Mother’s Care” children’s resort. At the same time, he founded the community center in the village and created its statutes, gifted it with books so that it could start working in 1911.
“Grandfather donated all his properties voluntarily, although he loved Boykovo very much. He gave his villa for the treatment of Plovdiv citizens from nervous diseases. The story sounds like a legend, but it is quite accurate. Doctors told him to go to the village and Grandfather began to rest there . After that, all the French from Plovdiv make a whole colony there. All the professors from the French College go to rest in Boykovo,” says his granddaughter Raina during her lifetime.
The family of Nedko Kableshkov keeps a photo of the Catholic nuncio Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli resting in the villa of the Plovdiv donor with a good heart. The priest subsequently became Pope of the entire Catholic world with the name John XXIII.
Dimitar Kudoglu founded the Home for Public Health
Dimitar Kudoglu is the tobacco merchant who went down in history as one of the biggest Bulgarian donors.
He had no children, and at the end of December 1923 his wife died after treatment in Italy. A few months after that, Kudoglu decided to create his biggest project – a House for Charity and Public Health.
The benefactor buys the building of the “Tsar Simeon” hotel for BGN 5 million, finances with another BGN 3.5 million its reconstruction and equipment with state-of-the-art medical equipment, donates his two tobacco warehouses in Plovdiv, with the income from which the home is supported , which was opened on October 8, 1927 in the center of the city.
According to the donor’s will, the service to poor citizens should be free, but the wealthy paid for the service. Home maintenance, staff salaries, supplies, etc. are secured forever.
After the Second World War, the home was nationalized, and in 1973 the building was demolished to build the post office, writes “Bulgaria Today”.