1, Prince Alexander I Sq.
The extant representative building of the established in 1895 Balkan National Insurance Company, occupied the corner of Alexander I Square and Targovska Street (also extant), across the Palace’s West Gate. Built in 1904 after the reconstruction of the former Coburg Hotel, for decades it was among the most beautiful buildings of the young Bulgarian capital. Designed by the brilliant interpreter of the Vienna Baroque, Friedrich Grünanger – head architect at the Ministry of Public Buildings and court architect to Prince Ferdinand I. Upon its façade stood one of the first town clocks, the enormous dial of which – 1.20 m wide, faced the capital’s busiest public space. It ticked time until March 30, 1944, when the building burned down as result of a direct strike of the British – American aviation.
The authentic Alexander I Square disappeared completely in 1948, when on the site of the Balkan Company and the Union Palace Hotel began the construction of the House of the Bulgarian Communist Party.