With a fire in her eyes and speech, the actress and singer Antoaneta Dobreva-Neti lead the guests of a small hotel, hidden in the outskirts of Sofia on a trip through Bulgarian history. This became possible thanks to a unique project that gathered chronologically people and events from our 1300 year old past in beautiful frescoes in the common areas on the way to the rooms. The exhibit starts with the portraits of the Bulgarian rulers from the glorious ages after 681, through the Golden Age, into the Ottoman rule and ends with the Revival.

The idea for the project comes from the owner of the hotel – Monika Ivanova, while the project itself was carried out by the artist Emilia Dimitrova, who lived in the hotel for three months and drew nearly 24 hours a day. She says that during that time, many foreigners, including Italians, Germans and Czechs, stayed at the hotel and observed her work with great interest.  “There was a German speaking guest who always came to stay for 2-3 days and every time he asked me what I drew, as he found it very interesting”, says Emilia. “Although it impresses the foreigners, the exhibit will excite the Bulgarians and especially those that work and live abroad, much more. 1 500 000 of them come back for a bit every year” stated Assoc. Prof. Yordan Yordanov, who teaches marketing. “The owner of the hotel gives her guests the chance to see the future, by rediscovering the past. There is a message in the project. She has achieved it with her sensibility”, he adds. His colleague, assistant Svetlana Staneva expressed a desire to take her students on a practice trip to the hotel. The program for the opening of the exhibit was no less inspiring, than the exhibit itself. The actor Valentin Balabanov, played the part of Khan Asparukh and led by drums, stepped towards the audience to tell them: “Watch helplessly as our Bulgaria falls apart in front of your eyes! Be silent! You hang your heads in the face of trouble…. Salvation is in your hands, your mind and your actions.

Salvation will come when you believe in yourselves and feel who you are!” The host Neti finished the program with a performance of the song Ya Kazhi Mi, Oblache le Byalo (“Oh tell me, white cloud”). And during the cocktail party, the folk dance troupe “Astidance” took care of the good mood with vocalist Antonio Simeonov. The guests, aside from university professors, included representatives of the Ministry of labor and social policy and businessmen. “Imagine that the Bulgarian history is the soul of a person. Imagine how that person, just like the history, gets born, grows up and at the peak of his youth, he loses his family and friends and all his faith for not just a day or two or a year, but for five whole centuries. That is how I explain our low national self-esteem. And I think each and every one of us is responsible for bringing it back. This project, which cost me tons of effort, is my small contribution. It’s not done for commercial’s sake, but for an ideal goal”, stated the owner of the hotel Monika Ivanova. Anyone who wants to see the exhibit can visit the Simona Complex hotel in Sofia on 721 “Okolovrusten Put” str.