World War One Sites - The NETWORLD Database

Monument to General Ivan Kolev, Dobrich, Bulgaria

The monument was opened on September 7, 2016, for the 100th anniversary of the Liberation of Dobrich, known as the “Dobrich Epopee”. 3.5 tones of cartridge cases were provided by the Ministry of Defense for the monument’s molding. In 2017 with an official military ceremony, the memorial plaques with the names of 1 013 soldiers and officers of the Third Bulgarian Army, who died in the battles of the Dobrich Epopee, were lit. With this activity the second stage of the memorial construction was completed as well as the overall composition of the memorial complex.

Bulgaria, Dobrich

Type of WWI-heritage

  • War monument


100 m2

State of repair/preservation


Historical WWI Context

Ivan Kolev was born in 1863 in the village of Bankovka. After studying in his native village and in the city of Bolgrad, in 1884 Ivan Kolev left for Sofia, where he worked at the Sofia District Court. A year later he participated as a volunteer in the Serbian-Bulgarian War (1885). In 1887 he graduated from the Military School in Sofia, he was made in the first officers' rank and was assigned to the Third Horse Regiment. On the 18th of May 1890, he was promoted to the rank of deceiver, and in the beginning of 1892, after successful examinations, he enrolled for two years at the Military Academy in Turin, Italy. In May 1902, Ivan Kolev was appointed as an Assistant Commander of the Leygburdean Squadron. In November 1912, he was appointed Chief of Staff of the Third Army, and in May 1913 Chief of Staff of the 5th Army. On August 2, 1915, he was appointed Major General. During the First World War, Ivan Kolev was the cavalry inspector and commander of the 1st Horse Division. Under his leadership, it took part in the offensive of the Third Army in Dobrudzha. Undoubtedly, he was also credited with the successful completion of the “Dobrich Epopee” on 5-7 September 1916. On 29 July 1917 he died in a sanatorium in Vienna, Austria. The history of the monument lasted almost a century. In September 1917, a fund for "voluntary contributions" was set up to raise a monument of the general in Sofia. A number of projects have been made for the monument by one of the most famous sculptors for those days: Andrey Nikolov made a relief portrait of the general, now it is preserved in the National Art Gallery; Kiril Todorov made a bust and a monument projects representing Kolev on horseback; Arnaldo Tzoki - an Italian author. In 1942 the collected funds reached BGN 1,842,000. However, restrictions imposed on the use of bronze during the Second World War postponed the monument's erection. After the returnment of South Dobrudzha to Bulgaria, the idea of raising a monument dedicated to the hero of the First World War is being restored. It was decided the monument to stay in Dobrich - the center of Southern Dobrudzha. Thus, with the support of the Municipality of Dobrich, the Fund "Building a Memorial of Gen.Ivan Kolev" was reestablished. Gen. Todor Kantardjiev, the 8th Equestrian Regiment and the 46th Infantry Regiment, High School “Tsar Boris III” and “Raiko Tsonchev” Junior High School were among persons and organizations most actively participating in the initiative. Theater shows and charity celebrations were organized. Many citizens also donated money. Thus, together with the funds collected up to 1942, the Fund has BGN 2 191 000 at the end of 1943. The political coup from 9th of September 1944, changed the public-political system. The new power condemns the name of a Gen. Ivan Kolev because of the victorious battles he led in Dobrudzha against the Russian army. With Anton Yugov's Order No. 4098 / 1.XII.1944, the Union of Reserve Officers is closed because, according to the new authority, it represents a "fascist structure". The funds collected for the monument were seized by the State. In 2007 a new association, chaired by academician Georgi Markov, for the construction of monument to Gen. Ivan Kolev was established. In 2010, the monument's model was completed. Since the rebirth of this old initiative until January 2011, BGN 33,056 has been collected, of which about BGN 600,000 is needed. The selected project belongs to the sculptor Alexander Haytov.

State of legal protection



Municipality of Dobrich


Opened all the year round.

Entrance Fee

No entrance fee

Further information sources


Бойчев, Петър. Симеонов, Радослав. Те загинаха за Добруджа. София, ИК „Гутенберг”, 2016 г.

Първата световна война и събитията на Добруджанския фронт. The First World War and the events on the Dobrudzhan  front. Сборник с изследвания. Тутракан, 2011 г.

Dobrudja – Politicsq Societyq Economy and Culture (XIX-XX Centure). Добруджа – политика, общество, стопанство и култура (XIX-XX в.). Тутракан, Ковачев, 2015 г.

Dobrudzha in the Wars for National unification. Добруджа във войните за национално обединение. Добрич, 2016 г.

Букурещкият мирен договор и съдбата на Южна Добруджа. Добрич, 1994 г.

Добричката епопея 1916 г. Историко-библиографски справочник. Добрич, 2006 г.

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