The Jews and Revival Period Urban Culture in Samokov (On Materials from
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Евреите и възрожденската градска култура в Самоков (по материали от „Хрониката на семейство Арие")
The Jews and Revival Period Urban Culture in Samokov (On Materials from "Chronicle of the Arier Family")

Author(s): Rachko Popov
Subject(s): Anthropology
Published by: Институт за етнология и фолклористика с Етнографски музей при БАН

Summary/Abstract: The 19th century is a period of exception cultural upsurge of the town of Samokov. Its architectural skyline changed; the printing house of the Karastoyanovs started operations, printing Bulgarian original books and translations; rare editions were sponsored, including not only poems and fiction, but historical, geographical, philosophical and other handbooks and works; rich private libraries were established; the network of schools was extended; public concerts and theatre performances were included within the frameworks of library club activities; the study of foreign languages became widespread; the lay genres of art became popular; town fashions in clothing and lifestyle changed; Dr Anton Unterberg, a physician, opened a consulting room and a pharmacy, and so on and so forth. The settlement in the town of the Jewish family Arier, who had moved from Vienna, played a major role and was a kind of a stimulus for that change. Besides their European air, their presence drew the town into completely new vigorous contacts with the European world. Owing to their activities as bankers and mediators, they linked Samokov with such centres and capitals like Vienna, Paris, Rome and London. Bulgaria's liberation found Samokov as one of the most highly developed towns intellectually. The presence of the Jews definitely contributed to that development. Unlike the Turkish population, who stuck to their conservative ways of life, the Jews played the role of an incentive for the Bulgarians. Their presence set into motion that psychological mechanism, which also operated along the lines of the consolidation of the Bulgarian population, of measuring up to the cultural achievements of advanced Europe, of bringing to the fore some national cultural values, of taking the new Bulgarian intelligentsia onto the historical stage.

  • Issue Year: 1996
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 17-30
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: Bulgarian