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Christmas fairytale

February 10, 2018 by · No comments

Story: Dessislava Berndt
Translation from Bulgarian: Dessislava Berndt
Proofreading: Polina Georgieva

Once upon a time, there was a little peasant. He worked very hard and with love and perseverance rose to an influential and wealthy industrialist and benefactor, and not only in his own city. It was important for him to help the young and the old, to bring joy to the people.

Старопиталище "Пенчо Семов" Габрово

Chapel-gift from Radka and Pencho Semovi, photos: desenze

He didn’t just build many factories and gave work to his employees, but he also dreamed that his care and protection would transfer to the future and spread like a wing over them. For this purpose, he built a beautiful and big House and named it Homestead.

Старопиталище "Пенчо Семов" Габрово

Homestead “Pencho Semov” Gabrovo, photos: desenze

The House had long and elegant corridors, many rooms, a great view and even more wonderful park and a lake, where a boat took the visitors from the city. Next to the drinking fountain with cold water, there was always sweet Turkish delight for anyone, who would stop there to refresh.

Старопиталище “Пенчо Семов” Габрово


Homestead “Pencho Semov” Gabrovo, photos: desenze

Years were passing by, The House was blooming and was welcoming guests from near and far. Until one day disaster stroke and brought war, death and destruction.

Старопиталище “Пенчо Семов” Габрово
Homestead “Pencho Semov” Gabrovo, photo: desenze

The benefactor could not bear the sufferings, that were caused to his beloved city, and died. Before that, he expressed his wish that his whole property and heritage should be donated for good purposes. And that the beautiful Homestead should become a home to the old and feeble.

Years went by and the Benefactor’s family suffered damage and humiliation by the ruling party. The House also suffered, because it had become alienated and was not used for the purpose it was created for. Besides, it was mourning over its creator and with time it was aging more and more.
Its new owners did not manage to take care of it properly and to bring back the joy of the good old days. One day they decided to simply abandon it.

The House was getting sadder and sadder. It was open to everyone, and everyone took something from it- while it was getting deeper and deeper into its sadness, and finally it gave up to its fate.

Старопиталище "Пенчо Семов", Габрово

Старопиталище “Пенчо Семов” Габрово
Homestead “Pencho Semov” Gabrovo, photo: desenze

More years went by, and the park was gone, the lake was overgrown with thorns, the water fountain dried up. The House was even left without a roof and without doors; it was stuffed with junk, and only the wind played and chased the last bits of warmth out through the broken windows.



Homestead “Pencho Semov” Gabrovo, photo: desenze

Christmas was coming and the House had this wonderful dream. Her benefactor appeared – and he was sad. He started crying, and spoke to it: ” While I was alive, I built, worked hard and left a lot of things behind. But what I regret the most is one unfulfilled desire of mine – to see you in your previous glamour and beauty, to see you as a home and consolation for the poor and the weak. Now I find here only destruction and despair. ”




Homestead “Pencho Semov” Gabrovo, photos: desenze

He had just said these words, and suddenly good people appeared from near and far. They cleaned the House , repaired the roof and stretched a fence around it to keep it from the bad. The lake was filled with water, the boat floated on it, the roses bloomed. And the rooms and corridors echoed with the laughter of visitors and inhabitants.

Старопиталище “Пенчо Семов” Габрово

Suddenly the House woke up and looked around. Were the happy moments of hope only a dream?

No, it said to itself; it is possible. I learned it from the Benefactor. With love, work and perseverance, everything is possible. They always win.

I believe in miracles, and do you?
Christmas is coming…

Пенчо Семов

The beautiful Homestead does exist. It was built in Gabrovo between 1928 and 1933 by architect Nikola Grablev. It has been abandoned for years, and it is dying. It is part of the assets of the Ministry of Health, where a disposal procedure has been initiated.

If you would like to help to save and restore the building and to fulfill the Benefactor’s will, please write to us to the following address, and let us know how you can help (volunteering repairing the roof, cleaning the building, building a fence, financial support, etc.):

Let’s prove together that on Christmas miracles do happen!

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