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House with the Monkey

The House with the Monkey is a famous building at the start of the famous Samovodska Charshia street in Veliko Tarnovo.

Samovodska Charshia Street
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria
GPS: 43:085026, 25.636852


In 1849, master architect Usta Kolyo Ficheto built a house for a trader named Nikola Koiuv.

This building, which is situated at the start of the famous Samovodska Charshia craftsman street, has attracted many curious visitors over the years as it is one the enduring symbols of Veliko Tarnovo. 

The ground floor of this three-story house has a high ceiling, and was designed to serve as a shop.

According to an urban legend, the original owner, Nikola Koiuv, was madly in love with a beautiful lady that lived across the street.

He would spend much of his time sitting on the front steps of his building, hoping to catch even a brief glimpse of this woman. 

Neighbors would talk about Nikola and would tease him for spending so much of his time yearning for a lady who obviously had no interest in him.

But he was unperturbed, and the position he held on his porch became a regular site for many years.

When the house was bought by its next owner, the neighbors would often mention to him that it was strange not seeing Nikola sitting on his porch.

So, the new owner decided to pay tribute to the hopeless romantic, and give the neighbors a sense that Nikola was still with them, by setting a small statue of a man sitting into the wall above the entrance to the building.

Over the years the building has changed owners frequently, and has undergone many transformations. 

And after many years, the story of Nikola Koiuv was forgotten, and neighbors and passers by did not understand the meaning behind the statue on the all.

Today, the building is referred to as ‘the House with the Monkey’ as people generations later, misinterpreted the tiny sitting man as a small primate.

SizzleMap films created in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria are produced in collaboration with
TAM – Space for Art and Social Initiatives.

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Forrest Mallard (@forrestmallard) – SizzleMap Video Producer – US Marine Sergeant, Theatrical Producer, Writer, Cross-Continent Hiker, Karaoke Star, and life-long travel addict. Two of Forrest’s passions, Travel and Story-Telling, eventually combined to create SizzleMap. Forrest prides himself as more of a travel historian than a travel personality, and he loves to share what he learns through short, educational and entertaining films.

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