In connection with the presentation of Plovdiv as a centuries-old intercultural center, in the context of the European Capital of Culture 2019, the Regional Ethnographic Museum - Plovdiv presented an exhibition on 18 April.

Named The Alafranga Time, it is an interesting look at our Revival reality. For the city  tale of the alafranga is the ever-present motif of the interaction of cultural models.

In the middle of the 19th century, Plovdiv was established as one of the most important administrative, craft and trade centers of European Turkey, a cosmopolitan city with a strong foreign presence. The wide-ranging trade contacts with Europe and the Middle East, the proximity of Constantinople, the training of young people abroad, the numerous colonies of diplomats, merchants and missionaries created favorable conditions for the diminishing of patriarchy and creating a modern lifestyle. This transitional period from the traditional society to modernity is called "A la franga", which means "In French manner". But this time should not only be considered as a French cultural penetration, but in a broader sense - as a new lifestyle coming from Europe.

Alafranga is a culture, a sign of embracing all novelties. This is a change that occurs in all spheres of life - the new Revival house and its interior, the exquisite manners of expression and communication, as well as the new urban style of clothing, worn by both men and womenare all aspects of the Alafranga time.

The result of these changes is the formation of a new eclectic style, based on the opposition of "New" and "Old". A style that could be compared to the effect of the curved mirror. Despite the initial descent from the more conservative-minded members of the society, in 3-4 decades the Alafranga style acquired its own complete image as an official urban fashion. 

The exhibition is a part of the official programme of "Plovdiv – European Capital of Culture 2019".

The material is provided by REM - Plovdiv.