WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?

by Stamen Manolov; photography by Anthony Georgieff

Nearby is William Gladstone Street, after a 19th century British prime minister few in the UK remember


You are in a large European city and you walk on what is known as Liberator Tsar Boulevard.

where in bulgaria are you.jpg

First you see a pretty, almost fairy-tale, unmistakably Russian church. Soon you reach a larger-than-life equestrian statue representing a 19th century Russian monarch. Further up there is another church, a cathedral, bearing the name of a Russian saint. Turn left and you will hit Parensov Street, named so after a Russian general. And a tram trundles along a pedestrianised road called Count Ignatieff. It is not named after Michael, but after a distant predecessor, also unmistakably Russian.

As you explore further you will step on a street called... George Washington. Nearby is William Gladstone Street, after a 19th century British prime minister few in the UK remember. In one of the housing estates there is a street called Eugene Schuyler, an American consul in Constantinople. Next to it is Januarius MacGahan, an American journalist. A whole housing project bears the name of... the Buxton Brothers. Apparently, not Russian at all.

Confounded already? As you walk back through a park you are bound to notice a large research center for infectious and parasitic diseases where a plaque will inform you its sponsor was John D. Rockefeller 1st. To top it all you will see a statue of Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President of the United States. And – you've guessed it – Ronald Reagan looks from a pedestal not too far away.

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