chapter end

IN STEAD OF CONCLUSION – THE END OF „BATALOVA VODENITSA“

In 1961 a new urban plan for Sofia was developed. It envisaged significant changes in different areas of the city, especially in poorer neighborhoods. This category also included „Batalova Vodenitsa“. Ubiquitous knocking down and clearing old houses started. In their place in the following years, were built multi-storey blocks of panels and creeping formwork. There was also an increasing number of people, mostly to the country’s capital, from the province. This brought about a radical change in lifestyle and inter-country relationships. Many of the neighbours were transferred to live in new homes and enjoyed better living conditions and some scattered in other Sofia neighborhoods. There are many who are saddened by the transformation of „Batalova Vodenitsa“. Ten years later (1971) the district was officially renamed „Serdika“. So, legally, it ended its own existence.
Today there is very little left of the street network of the old and beloved neighborhood. The streets of „Ohridsko Ezero“, „Kamen Andreev“, „The Unknown Soldier“ and „Temelko Nenkov“ are completely preserved among the concrete blocks of flats. Small stretches of several old houses are preserved from the streets of „Hajdut Velko“, „Sini Vir“, „Payak Planina“, „Zemlyane“, „General Tsonchev“ and „Nikopol“. They are mostly inhabited by gypsies, and their collapsing state gives melancholy and reminds of the great misery in which several generations of „Batalova Vodenitsa“ inhabitants were born and grew up.
I returned the lifebelt back and I came back to the youthful excitement that burned us at the time. When I turn to my native neighborhood, I stare with curiosity in the old faces of forgotten men. I travel around my favorite places and try to feel the spirit of the past. Alas, the people, the streets, the yards, and the smell of my „BatalovaVodenitsa“ are no longer there. There is another lost original corner of old Sofia. However, some magic still keeps me and my friends painfully alive in the memory of childhood and youth. For us, this was the most optimistic, the most beautiful part of our lives. That is why we all express, in one form or another, gratitude to the fate for the happy moments we spent in the „Batalova“. Time has moved away from those years and left us a romantic grief.