(1820- 1894)

Sava Iliev Dobroplodni left an enduring trace in the Bulgarian culture history. He is one of the most famous teachers of the Renaissance period of Bulgarian history, a prolific writer, an active figure in the theatrical and public life, he fought for the intellectual and mental freedom. His life was not directly connected with the fights for national freedom and it is full of obstacles, success and disappointment.

Sava Dobroplodni was born on the 3th /15th/ of December in 1820 in Sliven. His father, Ilia Slavov, called hadji, studied Greek and Slavic languages, old and modern church music in Greek and Bulgarian monasteries of Mount Athos and he dedicated his life to teaching both languages and ecclesiastical singing. His mother, hadji Trendafila, was a teacher and a daughter of the tradesman Christo of Jambol. She also had a monastery education. The parents of Sava Dobroplodni foun d in their house a monastery school in 1805. He inherited his great love to teaching from them.

Sava Dobroplodni started his education in his father's school. He was a studious and a diligent student as he was a little boy. He also had a nice voice and was ordained as an „anagnost” by the archbishop of Adrianopol.

After the Russian-Turkish war in 1828-1829 his family relocates to Ploesht, where his father hadji Ilia died of cholera in 1823. His mother, hadji Trendafila moved back to Sliven, where Sava Dobroplodni studied in the „ Hellenic „ school of Gavril Krastevich.

In 1835 the tradesman from Sliven hadji George hadji Kanev sent Sava Dobr oplodni to Istanbul to the family of his copartner the Greek Chelebi Strataki Pastu rmadjooglu and together with his son they were taught by the monk Teofil. In that house Sava Dobroplodni got to know George Sava Rakovski and at his urgent re quest he asked for the help of the Sliven tradesmen, in order to attend classes at t he Kurucheshmen school. Hadji George hadji Kanev and Dobri Jeliazkov the Ma nufacturer gave him money to study in that famous school.

Sava Dobroplodni studied in the school of Kurucheshmen six years. There he enlarged his knowledge about Greek grammar, translated Greek classicists, studied modern Greek and obtained a great general knowledge. For his knowledge in classical literature he got the name " Eukarpidis " /Dobroplodni/.

Sava Dobroplodni graduated school with honours in June 1842 and accepted the invitation of the notables of Kotel to become a teacher in their town. Leaving Istanbul he said to himself:" I become a teacher and I have to be an example to follow for my students and for the citizens. That is not that easy. That is the base of life." And really teaching became the base of his life.

Dobroplodni arrived in Kotel on the June 29th 1842. He brought with him there dictionaries, maps, atlases and many other books and textbooks even a micros cope. In his first days as a teacher in Kotel he started a great activity: he taught, coresponded with famous teachers, met well-known figures like Konstantin Fotinov and Ivan Bogorov, he sang in the church and met again Rakovski, who made an impact on him with his great patriotism. He found out that in the church there was a manuscript of Paisii's "History" and he rewrote it. He became famous in Bulgaria and many intelligent young men came to him to taught them. He practised teaching in Kotel 5 years.

Sava Dobroplodni went to Shoumen in 1847." In 1847 Shoumen municipality asked me to become a teacher and a church singer there, where I found my student Sava Filaretov - a teacher and I started to teach his students. But because of the work, which was so much I persuaded the citizens to appoint Hristaki M. Zlatev

a teacher. In 1849-1850 there was found a new school in Shoumen on two floors. In that comfortable building, which was the first one of his built, the classes were getting on quite well. That school I called a " Semi-high school"... I was appointed a headmaster of the semi-high school in 1852 ...Each year there were tests and certificats sealed "Shoumen high-school" were given to the students who passed the m. /A letter of Sava Dobroplodni to Ilia Blaskov dated 22th of April 1884/.

An interesting moment in the biography of Dobroplodni is his teaching in Sremski Karlovtsi. A message announcing for three professor's vacancies in the Karlovtsi high school for Greek, Mathematics and Civil history was published in the "Svetovil" newspaper on the 18th of June 1853. Soon after that on the 22th of July 18 53 Sava Dobroplodni applied for the position of a teacher in Greek. He was appointed a teacher by the board of the high school on a solemn meeting on the 5th of October 1853.

The stay of Dobroplodni in Sremski Karlovtsi and the Karlovtsi high school was very useful for him. There he learnt a good Serbian, studied German and Latin. M et high educated and inteligent people. He acquired a good pedagogical knowledg e and experience in the high school, which helped him in his further teaching activity in Bulgaria.

Sava Dobroplodni came back to Bulgaria after finishing the school year 1854 -1855 and locates in Shoumen. There he put into practise his experience in the organization of education gained in the Karlovtsi high school. He reorganized the schools in Shoumen to follow the model of the ones in Karlovats and other Slavic schools in Austria. He established a semi-high school and a school for young girls. Organized a celebration of the day of St. St. Cyril and Methodii as a national holiday of the Bulgarian literature and the Slavic culture.

Carrying his engagements for the schools took all of the time of Dobroplodni but after he came back from Austria he considered that it was high time for "a casino" to be established in Shoumen, which could help citizens to get closer to the values of human civilization. That is how the third Bulgarian chitalishte, after those ones in Svishtov and Lorn, was established in Shoumen on the 29th of June 1856 and its first chairman became Dobroplodni. Soon after that the chitalishte worker s felt the wish in themselves to have their own theatre and they realized their idea.

Dobroplodni's comedy "Michal" was performed in a small hall on the 15th of August 1856. The Bulgarian national theatre was born on that day.

Dobroplodni worked as a teacher in Shoumen untill 1859. He worked for the school there to rose to eminence. He became famous in Bulgaria as a good teacher and every town invited him to work there.

Sava Dobroplodni went back to his hometown in 1859. He carried out cultural and educational public activities in Sliven. He reorganized schools and established one central school - Sliven-Klutsohor semi-high school. In the same year he established one of the first Sunday schools for adults in Bulgaria. He read lectures on moral-ethic topics each Sunday after divine service. Reorganized the school library in 1859 and constantly enriched the library fund. So called High school library became publicly accessible for the citizens for the first time in 1860. By the suggestion of Dobroplodni's a chitalishte was found in Sliven on the 19th of December 1860.

Sava Dobroplodni worked as a teacher two school years 1862-1863 and 1863-1864 in Varna after he was in Sliven. There he established a school and took part in the public life.

In the next years, 1864-1870, Dobroplodni worked as a teacher in Tulcha. H e established a private school / A boarding-school / in the town in 1868, in which students could study " Bulgarian, Modern languages, Turkish, French, German, Italian, Greek, also Bulgarian grammar, Arithmetic, Geography, Holy history and History, Algebra, Physics and Geometry „. The program of studies included also the languages of the people of the all nationalities, who lived in the town, so that the school could be attended not only by Bulgarian students.

Sava Dobroplodni was invited to work as a teacher in Silistra. He worked the re two years. He made great transformations in the two schools » one for boys, the other one for girls. He often organized conferences of the teachers from the villages and he revised them and gave directions to them. He abolished the old textbooks and started using new ones. He is the founder of the chitalishte in Silistra, which was established on the 1st of September 1870. Under his guidance a theatrical society was established in the beginning of 1872. Dobroplodni took part in the struggle of the people of Silistra for their church independence. He was chosen to be a delegate of Silistra eparchy to the National church council in Istanbul for choosing an exarch and members of the exarch council.

Sava Dobroplodni has been a teacher in Kjustendja since 1872. There he initi ated new subjects to be studied in the school. He also established a chitalishte in t he town. The activity of the chitalishte was mainly to present a theatrical performances. Obviously the reason for that was Dobroplodni and his ambitions in the field of dramaturgy. His drama ,,Svetoslav" was performed for the first time in Kjustendja.

Sava Dobroplodni was invited to work as a teacher and singer in Tulcha for three school years in 1875. There he waited till the Liberation came.

Dobroplodni has been a member and a chairman of the Regional managing committee of Varna since 1878 untill 1881, and then an inspector in the field of education in the region of Razgrad until 1885.

Sava Dobroplodni was a prolific bookman. His knowledge was notable for its many-sidedness: in the field of philology, natural sciences and pedagogy. He wrote and published for the needs of education: „ Igionomia” rules to take care of our health „ / 1846 /, republished in a short edition as „ In short about healtha" / 1865 /, „ A guide for schools „ /1852 /, „ A textbook about writing „ /1853 /, „ School tables „ /1860 /, „ A textbook for children or training tables „ / 1860 /, „ A new preparatory textbook for the canorous method „ / 1866 /, „ Sunday evangels „ / 1866 / . There were also other ready to be published textbooks as „ A holy history", „ A world history „ etc. as it was published in the newspapers in 1857, 1860 and 1875.

In the field of dramaturgy, besides the „ Michal „ comedy /1853 /, Dobroplodni wrote and translated some more plays: „ Three corporals „ » a comedy in one act, „The petition writer„ a comedy in one act; „Two commanders”; „ Something” a monologue in one act; „Faith and love „ or „Velislav and Slava „ – a drama in three acts.

Dobroplodni's last book „ A short autobiography „ was published in 1893.

The life-work and achievements of Sava Dobroplodni were universally acknowledged. He was recognized as an honorary member of the Bulgarian society of literature on the 6th of July 1884 and was awarded a silver medal for special merits by prince Ferdinand on the 18th of May 1889.

Sava Dobroplodni died on the 19 of April 1894 in Sofia. People do not forget his life-work and keep him in their minds.

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