Updated: Feb 17
Every time I visit this beautiful Bulgarian city, I do not forget to stop at the Kordopulov House.
The Kordopulov House, also called the Tsintsarova House, was built in 1754.
This is the largest Revival house on the Balkan Peninsula, preserved today.
It belonged to the rich Greek family of merchants Kordopoulos, who built it specifically for the production, storage and trade of wine.
The last known member of the family is Manolis Kordopoulos, known among Bulgarians as Manol.
An extremely well-read man with an excellent business acumen, who had just finished winemaking in France and received the best education of his time, Manol hurried back to Melnik to modernize the technology of wine production, as well as the entire wine industry.
And because he gave shelter to Yane Sandanski in his home in the years before the Balkan War, Manol was killed by the Turks who left the city in 1912.
After the death of the last Kordopoulos, the ownership of the property was transferred to Agnes - it is not clear whether she was a sister and just a servant of Kordopoulos.
Agnesa marries Georgi Tsintsara, but the two remain childless. That is why they adopted their nephew Gavrail, who is the father of Nikola Paspalev, the current owner of the house.
How to get to Kordopulov house in Melnik?
You will find the Kordopulov House in the eastern part of Melnik.
Nearby you will find the Boyarska and Pashova houses.
What the house is most famous for are the huge and cool wine storage tunnels, the huge barrels, the unique Venetian frescoes and the beautiful wood carvings.
The house has three floors - ground floor, living floor and floor for welcoming guests and concluding deals. The first two floors are made of stone - in a typical style of that time.
Seven internal staircases connect the different floors and attics.
It is assumed that the Kordopulov House and the Metropolitan Church "St. Nikolai ”were built by the same master.
The living room is spacious and spacious - 90 square meters.
The ceilings are high, and in the impressive room light streams through twenty-four windows made of colored Venetian glass, arranged in two rows.
The upper row of windows is stained glass and is a mixture of oriental and European styles.
The sun just shines here all day, but its light is soft and illuminates the amazingly painted walls, masterful carvings, colorful ceilings and hidden cupboards.
Colorful rugs further adorn the floor.
Right next to the bay windows in the lower row are low mattresses - comfortable seats, covered with hand-woven mats and soft patterned pillows.
Everything is incredibly beautiful!
Huge wardrobes are designed and built into the walls.
And the ceiling is unique!
In the middle room or "corner" (corner room) Kordopulovi and their guests drank coffee. Musical parties were often organized in the house, and the musicians who entertained the guests were accommodated in the "corner".
The story goes that the Kordopulovs often invited famous musicians from the Vienna Philharmonic to entertain their guests.
A curious fact is that in each room of the house there is a hiding place (hiding place), cleverly disguised as the door of a closet or wardrobe.
Apart from wiretapping during negotiations, the secret services were also used as hiding places for some of the prominent fighters for the liberation of Bulgaria. Yane Sandanski was a frequent guest of the Kordopulovs.
The last floor is above the two lower floors, and in its highest part the house has a covered winter garden and an open summer garden, part of which is shaped like a sundial in the shape of Bulgaria and marked the place of Melnik on it.
In the house, which according to some sources is the second largest in the country, there is a cellar in Melnik, which is carved into the rock and thus formed a 150-meter (according to another source 80-meter) tunnel. The cellars can hold 300 tons of wine, with the largest barrel holding 12.5 tons. According to Bogdan Filov, who visited the house in the summer of 1916, the largest barrel in the cellar collected 240 loads of grapes (100 oki) or about 30.7 tons.
The thick Melnik wine was placed in huge barrels, which were lined up for storage in hand-dug tunnels under the house.
The maze of tunnels is something like a natural refrigerator, which maintains a constant temperature of ten to twelve degrees.
The corridors are relatively narrow and in some places low. The cellar has special channels and ventilation system.
The constant temperature is maintained only through small holes drilled in the tunnels, which provide the necessary ventilation of the premises.
The ruins of the Church of St. Barbara, which was a personal temple of Kordopoulos.
The house is №4 out of 100 national tourist sites.
I wish you an exceptional and impressive walk!