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Cooperative Commercial centre in Prilep A modernist commercial centre built in the early Seventies

Cooperative Commercial centre in Prilep

Prilep, Bulgaria

  • SPACE TYPE: Shop


Tags: Bulgaria, commercial, Totally Lost 2015

A modernist commercial centre of the local consumer cooperative in the village of Prilep in Bulgaria from (probably) the early 1970s.

According to the remains of the neon signs the two- floor building accomodated a restaurant, ironmongery shop and a shop for fabrics. There are holes on the upper part of the facade from another neon sign, probably from “Унивесален магазин” or “Универмаг” (“Department store”), which was a common consumer place in the larger and richer villages. The appearance of such commercial centres (even with neon signs, flower garden and a fountain!) in the villages was a result from the regime’s policy for decreasing the difference in the urban and rural lifestyle (basic for the Marxist- Leninist ideology). In many aspects it as a mere representation for the modernization and urbanization of the socialist village. The permanent consumer good’s shortages and poor good diversity, the conservative rural culture of the locals and later the decline of the villages didn’t allow the real developement of such urban lifestyle in them.

Two floor commercial, administration and cultural buildings were the usual for the villages’ central squares. The protrusive second floor in many cases like those can be thought as a incarnation of the then offical “national style” in architecture using patterns from the so called “National revival period” in 19th century and the typical for those time’s architecture protrusive second floors.

This “specificity” was mythologised as “Bulgarian” while in fact this was typical for the Ottoman architecture on the whole Balkan peninsula.



CONTRIBUTOR: Anton Angelov