Museum Exposition "Kolyu Ficheto. Life and creative work"

Nikola Fichev, mostly called Kolyu Ficheto, was born in 1880 in Dryanovo. When he was ten year old he began learning handicraft, becoming an apprentice builder. Traveling over in search for work trough the Bulgarian and Romanian areas, as well as Edirne and Istanbul, Kolyu Ficheto had been learning knack by the leading representatives of the both main Bulgarian architectural schools – from the town of Tarnovo and from the town of Bratsigovo. Because of his exceptional talent he was officially acknowledged as a young master. A few years before that, he had finally gone to Tarnovo, where he had lived till his death in 1881.
Nikola Ivanov Fichev, the architect and the builder of the most imposing buildings from 19th century in Bulgaria, is a man with a sense of beauty, talented precisely to build a wall, perfectly to carve an wood, to sculpture a stone in a marvellous form, a master with success and contribution to the different kinds of architecture, gifted, a creator who is searching for the ideal in his work, a symbol for the contemporary Bulgarian architects and builders. Kolyu Ficheto learned his builder skills with the help of the masters from Dryanovo, who are famous builders, stone-carvers and carpenters, experts in the field of the house and fortification architecture, and who were engaged to work on a lot of constructions in the Bulgarian areas and along the Romanian Danube coast. The future master by national architecture was taught by them in their skills and knowledge about the specific properties of the Bulgarian materials: the wood, the stone and the brick, the mixtures of these materials and about the wall-building appropriate to the different kinds of ground surface.
The last years of his study Kolyu Ficheto worked with Ivan Davdata, a master from Tarnovo, who was the only one of his teachers to be mentioned by name, and he learnt the traditions of building in the former capital Veliko Tarnovo. Around 1836 he began his individual practice making the interior of the church "St. Nikolay" in Veliko Tarnovo. In front of the national revival public was persuasively introduced the architect who succeeded to develop the traditional building, to modernize it and to establish the national classic architecture. Kolyu Ficheto gave a tendentious turn to the lying principles and ideas in the building of the national church: the building had to be monumental, with a plan in centrism style, in harmony with the proportions, fleetness, an aerial space, representative character of the facades and an entity in their decoration. Rich but not extravagant or obtrusive, the decoration had to be in elegant lines and roundness of the forms. Its ornaments and elements had to follow the patterns of the medieval metropolitan school, of the Baroque epoch or had to be by a decision of the creator. He created an extraordinary curve of the perch, an unparalleled beauty that has been called "a double Fitchev’s curve" till now. The master was capable to build the both most widespread type of church – the triple-naved pseudobasilica and the domed one, but he preferred the last one which became a national representative contemporary religious building after the both built and most beautiful Fichev’s creations, that indicate its classical period: "St. Troitsa" in Svishtov (1865–1867) and "St. St. Konstantin and Elena" in Veliko Tarnovo (1872–1873). The town organization character of his religious buildings are ingenious, they are located in the central parts of the quarters, in the way that the facades, the domes and the bells with their plastic decoration to attract the look and to change the aspect of the National Revival town, to compete and domain under the monuments of the Turkish architecture. Kolyu Ficheto excellently managed to synchronize the present architecture ensembles with the new buildings during his building work in the monasteries in Veliko Tarnovo. He was a person with a clear unforgettable creative individuality, with a significant sense of harmony, full with respect to the work of the former masters. The created by him became an attractive center of the complex, that didn’t make a shadow to the previous architecture performance, on the contrary, emphasized it. Nikola Fichev had the technical experience, various skills and great creative capabilities, which made him an excellent leading master not only in the church architecture but in the public and the housing building. The House With The Monkey in Veliko Tarnovo (1849) and the home of the priest Vasil Ikonomov in Dryanovo (The Ikonomova House 1859) are one of the best patterns of the national revival town house, and the inn of Hadji Nikoli Minchev (Veliko Tarnovo, 1858) is the most beautiful building with an economic function on the Bulgarian territory, with an exclusively impressive façade. In the middle of 19th century the master began to work on prestige national projects. To the time of The Bulgarian Liberation (1878) he conducted the building organization of five bridges: in Dryanovo (1851), in Sevlievo (1857-1858), on the Veselina River nearby the village of Yovkovtsi (1865), upon the Yantra River in the town of Byala (1865-1867), in Lovech (1874-1876) and a few town councils buildings, from which only the big konak (a Turkish name for the building of a town council) in Veliko Tarnovo is preserved (1872-1875). The early bridges in Dryanovo and Sevlievo are in the typical Bulgarian style with a lifted (humpbacked) roadway over the river (so called "humpbacked" bridge), and The Bridge of Byala, The Bridge of Yovkovtsi and The Covered Bridge of Lovech are the first Bulgarian patterns of the contemporary European type with a straight roadway. The Bridge of Byala ( The Bridge of Yovkovtsi is a miniature copy of this bridge without the relief decoration) is the most exquisite stone bridge in the history of the Bulgarian architecture and a classics in the European one, whereas The Bridge of Lovech is an unique bridge, because it combines the bridge and the bezisten (a covered market street) over the river. The Konak in Veliko Tarnovo (the building of the town council) as The Bridge of Byala is regarded to be a classic structure, the most representative and beautiful Bulgarian public building. The Nikola Fichev’s work was continuous and beneficial. There are not another master like him in the Bulgarian history, to change so determinely the national architecture and to form the new guidelines of its development. He is the architect of the well-known and liked by the Bulgarian population buildings, one of the clearest patterns of the genius and creative potential of the population for ages. On an interesting photo background, presenting an architectural ensembles from The National revival period (19th century), are exposed the traditional building, wood-carving and wooden-window making instruments of the builders from Dryanovo from this period who are students or colleagues of the gifted master. The family tree gives information about Fichev’s descendent, about their educational degree and professions. 

Work time:
8.00-12.00h; 13.00-17.00h, without a day-off 

5370, Dryanovo, 82 Shipka str.
tel: +359 676 72097;72138
e-mail: ficheto@mail.com 

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