The House with the Monkey in Veliko Tarnovo is built in 1849 and is one of the works of the Bulgarian Revival master Kolyu Ficheto. This landmark building is located between the old Market Halls (now hosting small shops, a restaurant and a bar) and the Samovodska Charshia.
This three-storey Bulgarian house is built under the commission of a merchant named Nikola Koyuv, on a narrow plot between the two streets. Despite the limited space, the building had all the necessary rooms and facilities like storage rooms, a shop on the ground floor (now antique shop) and accommodations. Similar to other Veliko Tarnovo houses it is located on two streets. Housing premises are accessed from the backstreet. Links to the other floor is via an internal staircase. The ground floor has an arched design.
An antiques collector named Stoyancho P. Akhtar also live there for some time. He is claimed to be the first collector of antiquities and owner of Bulgaria’s first private collection of valuable medieval manuscripts and coins.
You find the monkey on the smooth plastered façade, sitting below an inscribed stone slate. There are two round holes with metal grid on each side of the figure. The first residential floor is protruded by approximately 26 cm transition and forms a low profiled cornice. The second floor also comes forward like the first, but with a much richer concave curve and small rectangular profiles and retreat. Each residential floor has 5 windows and there is a skylight on the second floor. The façade is a brick veneer with curved shapes. Such decoration is rare for homes in Bulgaria and is thought to be brought by the master builder Kolyu Ficheto.
Such decoration of the façades is found in other houses in Tarnovo, Gorna Oryahovitsa and Plakovski Transfiguration Monastery, where the famous builder has worked. The House with the Monkey was restored under the project of architect. T. Teofilov. It now hosts the Tarnovo branch of the Union of Scientist and Scholars in Bulgaria.