The seals of the community centers in Dryanovo and Sliven

The community stamps legitimize the activity of one of the most respected and long-lived institutions in Bulgaria, which has a special place in the history of Bulgarian society during the Renaissance. In addition to their own seals, the community centers have their own statutes and leadership, which makes them an authoritative institution for instigating and managing important social processes and events in the absence of Bulgarian statehood and political independence in the 19th century.

The exhibited seals of the community centers in Dryanovo and Svishtov are specially made museum replicas of the originals from 1869, and both feature images of two brotherly clasped hands - a very popular and common symbol on Revival-era community hall seals, also associated with the Masonic sign of brotherhood. The inscription on the Dryanovo seal reads: "Bulgarian community center in Dryanovo "Obschii Trud", and on the Sliven seal: "Bulgarian charity school in Sliven"

After the Crimean War (1856) everywhere in Bulgaria and beyond its borders, where there are Bulgarians, more than 130 community centers are gradually opening their doors. Their appearance gave impetus to academic work, book publishing and printing; lectures and fairy tales on all kinds of topics are organized in them, the first theatrical performances are played; their libraries store books, newspapers and magazines. They arise most often in Orthodox churches and schools, and the initiators are mostly teachers and priests. The first community center in Bulgaria was founded in Svishtov on January 30, 1856 by Dimitar Nachovich, Hristaki Filchov, Emanuil Vaskidovich and Georgi Vladikin. The second was founded in the spring of 1856 by Sava Dobroplodni in Shumen and the third was founded in Lom in the same year.

Community centers become a center of attraction for revolutionary young Bulgarians. It was through the community center in Ruse that Zahari Stoyanov was attracted to the liberation cause - in "Notes on the Bulgarian Uprisings" we read: "In a short time I could notice that very unusual things were happening in this community center, the meaning of which I was not able to explain ... One day, an unknown monk came to the community center... I couldn't resist and looked through a peephole in the library: but what do you see? The humble ragged monk had taken off his cassock and was storing a dozen revolvers at his waist, which my friend handed him one by one!…''

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