The wheel of time

During the WWII /1939-1945/ the whole tobacco export of Bulgaria goes through Germany. Tobacco from the Aegean region has been bought and resold to German companies, which supplied the countries dominated by The Third Reich. In 1947 according to the voted by the Grand National Assembly Act for Establishment in Bulgaria of a state-controlled tobacco monopoly the warehouses, the machinery and the inventory of 81 foreign and Bulgarian tobacco trade companies in Plovdiv became the owner of the state. Thus, on 1 June 1947, the enterprise "State Tobacco Monopole", branch Plovdiv, had been created. During the first 10 years, the manual operation is predominant. In 1947, the author of the novel “Tobacco”, Mr Dimitar Dimov, goes in the factory during his free time and spends hours watching the actual working process. After nationalization, the state as the sole owner of the tobacco industry has repeatedly expanded and modernized production. The export is mainly for Germany, the Soviet Union, and the countries in Eastern Europe. The enterprise has a very strong social programme. The joint-stock company "Plovdiv BT", in the meantime renamed "Cigarette Factory" LTD became private for 30.8 million BGN. The tobacco production throughout Europe decrements each year and according to the field expert Dr Koycho Belchev it will disappear in several years.  The global stagnation by no means will reflect in Bulgaria too. The tobacco in Europe would be bought mainly from the third world countries such as Brazil, Sumatra, India, Cuba and the consumption and production of tobacco and tobacco products will suffer severe restrictions.


In Plovdiv, there are around 30 huge tobacco warehouses. Most of them were built in the first century in the neighbour quarters positioned between the Stock railway station, the Central railway station and the “Ruski” Boulevard. At the place of the present Sock, railway station had been the nursery garden of Mr Lucien-Schevalas, which had been destroyed in 1911 and parcelled for tobacco warehouse. In the 20ties and the 30ties, the “Ivan Vazov” street had not only been the street of the foreign consulates, but also of the houses of the tobacco dealers. One part of the warehouses, especially those with facades facing towards “Ivan Vazov” Str. and the corner with “Capitan Andreev” street, as well as those on “G. M. Dimitrov” Street, owned by Mr Dimitar Kudoglu, are richly ornamented – with gesso flower garlands. On one of them, there is a very successful decoration sculpture of the head of Hermes – the God of Trade and Travel. The result had been so impressive that there had been a postcard made with the image on it. It is obvious why the tobacco warehouses of Dimitar Kudoglu, as well as the warehouse on the corner of “Ivan Vazov” and “Ekzarh Yosif” streets, the one on 31 “Ivan Vazov” Str. and the one on “G. M. Dimitrov” and “Odrin” streets are declared to be National architectural monuments. The fortunes must have been really big in order to arise the will for such representativeness of the ordinary factory walls. Plovdiv had been a leading city in the tobacco industry for a quite a long time and most of the warehouses were active till the beginning of the 90ties.

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