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Choosing ?Alliance Francais? for today?s news page is based on a Maritsa Newspaper article regarding the contest called ?Europe is and will always be multilingual?. The 11th grade student from the Plovdiv French Language High School, Doncho Hristov, is one of the two laureates in that contest. The award is a one-week trip to Paris. The winners are students aged 17-19 from all of Europe.
?Alliance Francais? is an international organization dedicated to spreading French language and culture all around the world. It was founded in Paris in 1883 and today it has over 1100 representative offices in 138 countries. In Bulgaria ?Alliance Francais? exists since 1904, and during the 1930s the number of its ?societies? (i.e. representative offices) were 24 altogether. After a termination of almost 50 years, in 1991 the General Consulate of the ?Alliance Francais - Paris? for Bulgaria opened in Plovdiv and initiated the restoration of the Alliances Network, which today includes the following towns: Plovdiv, Kazanlak, Stara Zagora, Bourgas, Varna, Veliko Turnovo, Pleven and Blagoevgrad. Each ?Alliance Francais? centre offers multi-levelled courses in French, a rich library with French literature, various cultural activities, organization of contests, etc.
In 1883, during his Orient trip, the French poet and politician Alphonse de Lamartine spent 36 hours in Plovdiv, where he was hosted by Georgi Mavridi, a young trader from Plovdiv. Mavridi was very proud to be Lamartine?s host in his beautiful house on the Dzhambaz Tepe hill in Plovdiv, which today bears the name ?Lamartine?s House?. Later, in 1922, ?Alliance Francais - Plovdiv? placed a memorial label on the Lamartine House to remember of that occasion.