Peter of the Stojanovic family founded FC Levski, after 1944 he was tried by the People’s Court and expelled from the club

His father Ivan Stoyanovich – Ajeleto is an ally of Zahariy Stoyanov

The beginning of the Stojanovic family is lost somewhere in the 18th century. The first known representative of the family was Ivancho Stoyanov, one of the most active educators in Stara Zagora from the beginning and middle of the XIX century.

His son Todor graduated in medicine in Montpellier, from where he returned as Stojanovic – so it is written in the diploma. He is the founder of the Stara Zagora Hospital and one of the most active members of the public in the city after the Liberation.

But we will start the real story of one of the most famous Bulgarian families with his nephew, Ivan Petrov Stoyanovich, nicknamed Ajeleto. He has a truly unique biography of a telegraphist, revolutionary, politician, MP, journalist, public figure, statesman … Zahariy Stoyanov’s ally in the struggle for the unification of Bulgaria.

Ivan Stojanovic-Ajeleto

was born in Stara Zagora on September 25, 1862. Until 1877 he studied at the St. Nicholas High School, a student of Petko R. Slaveykov.

During the conquest of the city by the Turkish army in 1877, his parents were killed and their house burned down. The 15-year-old managed to escape with his sister Jana and his brother Sava, who is only two years old.

From left to right: Petar Stojanovic, his brother Dimitar (Dimi), Jana Stojanovic with her son Ivan and Ani Bakalova.  The photo is from the worship of the actress Domna Ganeva on January 3, 2013.

From left to right: Petar Stojanovic, his brother Dimitar (Dimi), Jana Stojanovic with her son Ivan and Ani Bakalova. The photo is from the worship of the actress Domna Ganeva on January 3, 2013.

Sava graduated from the Sofia Military School and the Military Academy in Vienna, became an artillery colonel, and participated in all wars for national unification.

The family tree of the Stojanovic family

The family tree of the Stojanovic family

Jeanne graduated in French philology in Switzerland. The 22-year-old returned to Sofia and became a French teacher. With his salary from the First Girls’ High School he managed to build the current family house. Lives up to 101 years.

Simeon Radev left us a verbal portrait of Ivan Stoyanovich – Ajeleto. “A man of action, fast, brave, neurotic – a strange silhouette with his Persian hat and boots that reached above his knees – Stojanovic with his sociability and his countless acquaintances perfectly complemented Zacharias …” By the way “ajele” in Turkish it means just that – nervous, hurried, impatient.

Ivan Stoyanovich is in the leadership of the Bulgarian Secret Central Revolutionary Committee, which united Bulgaria.

“Lieutenant Zidarov separated with one platoon from the company and set out to take over the telegraph station, in which Ivan Stoyanovich settled immediately,” Simeon Radev wrote in “Builders of Modern Bulgaria”. By telegraph from this station in Plovdiv, Stojanovic was the first to report on the Union.

Years before this memorable act, telegraphy had already become his profession and would be his destiny. From the autumn of 1877, at the age of 15, he was a telegraph operator in the Russian army. The armistice found him in Edirne and he worked successively at the telegraph and post offices in Chirpan, Berkovitsa and Gabrovo.

From the autumn of 1881 he joined the struggle against the “Regime of Powers”, which suspended the Tarnovo Constitution. He writes for the Plovdiv newspapers Nezavisimost and Borba. The Provisional Government in Plovdiv appointed him manager of the post and telegraph offices in southern Bulgaria.

Ivan Stoyanovich was the creator of Bulgarian telecommunications after the Liberation. His name is associated with several first things in the new Bulgaria – the first telegraph agency called “Trapezitsa”, in 1912 the first radio came into operation, the construction of the first Bulgarian school in Budapest, construction of the first Bulgarian church there and others.

He was sent as the first negotiator with the High Gate after the declaration of Independence in 1908, one of the delegates at the signing of the Brest-Lithuania Treaty during the First World War.

For about five years he took an active part in three wars – the two Balkan Wars and the First World War. In May 1886 he was elected a deputy in the IV Ordinary National Assembly from Stanimaka (Asenovgrad).

On August 19, 1886, Stefan Stambolov appointed Stojanovic director of the post and telegraph. But on August 1, 1887, he was fired for political reasons. From June 1, 1894 he was again in charge of Bulgarian communications and managed the post offices, telegraphs and telephones until May 1, 1917. From the summer of 1919 he developed trade in Berlin and Budapest.

He married Maria Hadjibozhkova, by whom he has three stepdaughters. Their common son’s name is Peter. His godfather is Gen. Danail Nikolaev.

One of the personal advisers of Tsar Boris III.

Ivan Stojanovic died at his home in Sofia on February 15, 1947.

His son Peter Ivanov Stoyanovich

was sent to study abroad. He graduated from Dijon High School and Robert College in Constantinople. There he became interested in sports and especially in football. Together with friends he founded a football club in Sofia. They named it “Levski”. Apart from being the team’s co-founder, Petar Stojanovic was also its central striker from 1914 to 1919.

After the First World War he studied in Jena and Leipzig – Germany, and defended his doctorate in economics. He joined Reemtsma, the largest tobacco company in Europe, where he is responsible for the tobacco business in the East.

In 1926 Petar Stojanovic became president of the football “Levski” and since then he has been in the management of the club. Everyone participates voluntarily with personal money and collects a sum with which they buy from the municipality a place to build a stadium near the Perlovska River, where there was a landfill. A stadium was built in the early 1930s.

After September 9, 1944, Petar Stoyanovich was tried by the People’s Court on charges of being an American spy and expelled from Levski. Arrested, beaten and tortured, he was finally released, but his whole life was ruined. He was married to Lambrina (Bina) Sotirova – a graduate of German philology under Prof. Konstantin Galabov, close to the royal family until 1944 and a teacher of German and Russian after that. They have a son Ivan and a daughter Jana.

Petar Stojanovic died in the late 1970s.

Zhana Petrova Stojanovic

was born on October 14, 1928 in Sofia. She graduated in French philology at Sofia University and acting at VITIZ in 1960. Her theatrical career began in Burgas at a time when she was working there with the magnificent four directors: Leon Daniel, Julia Ognyanova, Vili Tsankov and Metodi Andonov. As true rebels, they are running away from ideological norms and making a bold, innovative theater.

The young actors Zhana Stoyanovich, Leda Taseva, Banko Bankov, Ivan Tonev, Petar Petrov, Ani Bakalova, who would later become the wife of Janina’s brother, film critic Ivan Stoyanovich, also took part in their creative conspiracy.

In 1961, Jana entered the Youth Theater and for more than 36 years (until 1997) was one of its first actresses. He is filmed in movies and on television.

The first marriage of 22-year-old Jana Stojanovic is with the director Krastjo Mirski, 8 years older than her. Her second husband is the artist and hockey player Anatoliy Polyanski-Tolyata. He has a son – Ivan, whom she gave birth to at the age of 46.

Ivan Petrov Stojanovic,

full namesake of his grandfather Ajeleto, was born on January 29, 1930 in Sofia. He graduated in law from Sofia University, but worked in the specialty for only one year. The authorities do not like him because of his origin – his father, tried by the People’s Court, his grandfather – a minister and a royal adviser.

He later graduated in English philology.

Cinema ultimately benefits from this ban. For over 30 years Ivan Stoyanovich has been one of the most famous film critics in Bulgaria, founder and editor-in-chief of the Bulgarian Film magazine. In 1992-1993 he was the director of the cultural programs at the Bulgarian National Television. He was also the head of the Sofia Animated Film Studio. He is the author of hundreds of articles on cinema and theater, 29 screenplays for documentaries and animated films and numerous books.

He is the only Bulgarian presented in the illustrated catalog of the British Film Institute, dedicated to the 100th anniversary of cinema. This catalog contains biographies of prominent filmmakers from around the world.

He died on January 10, 1999. He will be remembered for his aristocratic style of behavior and his unpredictable original sense of humor. He and his wife, actress Ani Bakalova, have two sons – Peter and Dimitar, named Dimi.

Peter Ivanov

Stojanovic, great-grandson

of Ajeleto,

was born on June 25, 1967 in Sofia. He graduated from the German language high school.

In 1988-1989 he studied German Studies at Sofia University. He graduated in General History and History of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe at the University of Vienna, where in 1995 he received a Master’s degree in Philosophy. Herder Fellow.

In 1998 he again defended his doctorate with honors at the University of Vienna and became a doctor of philosophy and doctor of historical sciences.

Since 2016 he has been an associate professor at the Institute for Historical Research at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. He was a part-time lecturer at Sofia University. Full lecturer at the Faculty of Humanities, Department of Journalism, University of Shumen, where in 2018 he received a professorship. He also became a professor at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

He entered politics as a member of the UDF. From 1998 to 2003 he was successively Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Head of the Office of Nadezhda Mihaylova, when she was Deputy Speaker of the EPP, and Head of her Cabinet as Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He holds various positions in the NIS of the UDF, including Deputy Chairman of the UDF-Sofia. He heads the pre-election headquarters of the blue candidate for mayor of Sofia, Plamen Oresharski, but leaves the UDF in protest against Oresharski’s removal after his meeting with Vasil Bozhkov. When Plamen Oresharski became prime minister in 2013, he appointed Stojanovic minister of culture.

In 2003, meanwhile, he became political and international secretary of St. George’s Day, and between April 2007 and September 2010 he chaired it. He left it in 2011.

In 2001, Stojanovic became a Knight of the Civil Cross of Merit of the Republic of Malta. Since 2014 he has been a Grand Officer of the Sovereign Military Order of Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem, Rhodes and Malta. He is the author of many scientific studies, monographs and books. He speaks English, German and Russian. Hobbies – spearfishing, hunting, cooking.

Petar Stojanovic has three children – Ivan, Ani and Ioan, whose mother is Maria Divizieva. She was the head of Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski’s cabinet.

Dimitar Ivanov


was born in 1977 in Sofia. Like his brother Peter, he graduated from German high school. Although he is the son of an actress and film critic, he does not apply to NATFA. He did not want to be in their shadow and finished history at Sofia University.

Dimi’s hereditary artistic talent, as his friends call him, manifested itself in BNT, where in 1999 he began as a screenwriter for the documentary series “Guide to the Historical Hitchhiker”. He is the main screenwriter of “The Great Bulgarians”, “Bulgarian Events of the 20th Century”, “The Great Reading”, “Masters of the Air” and others.

Dimi Stojanovic is the screenwriter of dozens of documentaries, as well as the feature films “The Pursuer”, “Photo with Yuki”, “Yellow Oleander”, the TV series “On the Border” and “The Tree of Life”. He has won dozens of national and international awards.

Since 2014 he has been the editor-in-chief of the prestigious magazine L’Europeo, and he is also the host of a cultural program on BNT.

He has a daughter named Margarita.


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