Perched as a bird on top of an Ancient Roman defense wall, from around the 2nd. C. C.E., the house of Hajji Aleko Tzvetkov, hosting Philippopolis Art Center is a gem of beauty and elegance. Its silhouette stands out at the entrance to Old Plovdiv with its impressive architecture and decorations. This remarkable beauty and historic importance are behind the governmental decision to declare the house a national monument of culture.
The wealthy merchant Hajji Aleko Tzvetkov built the house around 1865. Erected on the land given as a wedding present to his wife, Efrosina, by her respected father, it was one of the first in this part of Plovdiv. Pioneering the architecture of the later called "National Revival style", it served as a residence to the newlyweds.
In the 1950s the communist government of Bulgaria nationalized the house.
From 1983 to the end of the socialist regime in 1989, the house was converted into a community cultural center (chitalishte) – the famous Vuzrajdane (Revival) in Plovdiv.
In 2003, after a major repair and restoration the present owners, opened to the public the Hadji Aleko house as a museum and art gallery, which is one of the most important monuments of culture from the National Revival period.
The National Revival architecture tried to emulate the Western European neoclassical elegance in fusion with the relaxed practicality of Ottoman interiors and its oriental ornate baroque. This style produced masterpieces in 19th-century Plovdiv such as the Hajji Aleko residence. The two-story house has a typical symmetric façade. Four elegant columns support the grand salon (Hayeet: guestroom). The oval carved wooden ceiling in the grand salon, representing a sun, the crystal mirrors and the display of more than 100 paintings contribute greatly to the unforgettable atmosphere at the Museum.
The house was built on a foundation remnant from an underground oak cellar, which is now converted into an elegant restaurant in Viennese style from the beginning of the 20th c.
The garden of the house, solidly built on the Ancient Roman defense wall, opens striking views over the town's most fashionable artist quarter - Kapana. It is also a favorite place for locals and tourists alike who love gourmet cuisine, fine wines and relaxed ambiance during the spring, summer and early autumn.