Evlogi Georgiev - the man and the benefactor

05 July 2017

Evlogi Georgiev Nedev (03.10.1819 – 05.07.1897) is a public figure, a major trader and banker, a honorary member of the Bulgarian Learned Society (1884, contributing member 1869).

He was born in Karlovo and is the brother of Hristo Georgiev. Evlogi Georgiev studied under Rayno Popovich in his hometown and at the Greek school in Plovdiv (1835-1836). In 1837 he moved to Romania, where he spent most of his life, but did not cease to feel deeply connected with the fate of his nation.

In 1842, together with his brother and their relatives Nichola and Hristo Pulievi, he founded in Galatz the "Pulievi-Georgievi" trade association, which had commercial houses in Galatz, Bucharest and Braila. The brothers traded with French, English and other European companies and for 30 years their capital increased 48 times. They started engaging in banker operations.

Evlogi Georgiev participated in the social and political life of the Bulgarian emigration in Romania. He is among the founders of the Virtuous Company. The Georgievi brothers materially supported the cultural and educational endeavors of the Bulgarians in Romania and Bulgaria. They supported Bulgarian book publishing and print, their names can be read among the benefactors of many books and textbooks. They made generous donations to monasteries, churches and hospitals, provided material support to schools and community centers, and with their financial support, many Bulgarian youth received education abroad.

After the death of his brother (1872), Evlogi Georgiev moved from Galatz to Bucharest. Here he founded the Bulgarian human-loving board and collected aid for the victims of the April Uprising. During the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878) he set up a network of informers for the Russian military intelligence and participated in the supply of the Russian army.

After the Liberation, he stayed away from the political life and devoted his efforts to charitable work. The main part of his wealth, valued at 23 million gold leva, was left for socially useful purposes. He donated significant sums for the building of the Bulgarian girls' gymnasium in Thessaloniki (1894) and for the construction of a Bulgarian hospital in Constantinople (built in 1899). He bequeathed 6 million golden leva for the establishment of a fund, whose revenue was to be used for the building of a University in Sofia. At the same time, he donated a parcel in the center of Sofia and 800,000 leva (1896) to build the educational institution. With a donation from him, a secondary technical school and a factory were built in his hometown of Karlovo.

Evlogi and Hristo Georgiev are buried in the Bellu Cemetery in Bucharest. The tomb-mausoleum is recognized as an architectural monument by the Romanian state. The two brothers didn't have families so Evlogi Georgiev determined his distant cousin Ivan Evstratiev Geshov as his successor and executor of his will (written in 1882). He is among the most prominent Bulgarian politicians.

However, in the first decade of the twentieth century the will was disputed by relatives of Evlogi Georgiev. The matter was brought before a court and the lawsuit was politicized. That slowed down the construction of the University.

A central boulevard in Sofia is named after Evlogi and Hristo Georgievi.

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