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Buzludzha monument - Ghosts from Bulgarian Communism

Known as Bulgaria's UFO, the Buzludzha monument hides in the Balkans as the former Bulgarian Communist Party Headquartes and has become one of most unusual spots in the country. It is a historical peak in the Central Balkan Mountains in Bulgaria.

     Known as Bulgaria's UFO, the Buzludzha monument hides in the Balkans as the former Bulgarian Communist Party Headquartes and has become one of most unusual spots in the country. It is a historical peak in the Central Balkan Mountains in Bulgaria. It is located to the east of the Shipka Pass and near the town of Kazanlak. The peak is 1441 m high and the monument has a sci - fi architecture and very long history.

     In 1961 a group of socialists lead by Dimitar Blagoev met on the peak to plan for Bulgaria's socialist future. To celebrate events, the government in power during the height of Soviet influence decided to erect a monument memorating Socialist communism, including a Red Star. The architect Georgi Stoilov submitted a proposal for that monument, feauturing a ring perched on six columns and a tower at its centre bearing the Star. The project wasn't used in 1961 however, and it was decade later when Stoilov got a call asking him to revice his plans. Given the extreme winter conditions at the peak, with strong winds and temperatures often as low - 25 °C , the new specification was for a memorial house featuring heated intetrior spaces for special events.

      Stoilov reviced his designs to feature a saucer - shaped body, with the star mounted in a conjoned tower.  The architect decided to separate these elements, positioning the tower outside the saucer in order to give it better stability against the wind. Stoilov's idea was to create a monument that could become timeless by incorporating both ancient and futuristic motives into his design.

Stoilov reviced his designs to feature a saucer - shaped body, with the star mounted in a conjoned tower.  The architect decided to separate these elements, positioning the tower outside the saucer in order to give it better stability against the wind. Stoilov's idea was to create a monument that could become timeless by incorporating both ancient and futuristic motives into his design.

     In total, more than 6000 people contributed their work to the creation of the Buzludzha monument. This included scluptors, designers, engineers, large number of volunteers and over five hundred soliders from the construction corps under General Delcho Delchev. The construction teams worked on shifts from May until September. A lot of workers died during the construction project and sadly such accidents are not unusual. The construction of the monument cost came to 14 million Bulgarian levs ( By today's rates its over 35 million dollars). Between a population of 8,8 million Bulgarians, a total of over 16 million levs was raided. What wasn't used on the monument was spent on developing new roads and kindergardens in the area. The interior space of the monument featured walls covered in richly detailed mosaics, which illustrated the history of the Bulgarian Communist Party. Scenes depicted warfare, space travel  and communist workers driving their pitch fork into a symbolic of foreign capitalism. 

The interior space of the monument featured walls covered in richly detailed mosaics, which illustrated the history of the Bulgarian Communist Party. Scenes depicted warfare, space travel  and communist workers driving their pitch fork into a symbolic of foreign capitalism. 

    One side of the hall featured the faces of international communist heroes - Engel, Marks and Lenin - while the opposite side was dedicated to Bulgaria's own communist figures. First Communist leader of Bulgaria - Georgi Dimitrov and the founder of Bulgarian socialism - Dimitar Blagoev, were positioned  alongside that of Todor Zhivkov, communist leader of Bulgaria from 1954 - 1989. Zhivkov's face was also the first thing to be destroyed - the tiles scraped out in 1992 by his own party, as they attempted to distance themselves from the disgraces Dictator.  

One side of the hall featured the faces of international communist heroes - Engel, Marks and Lenin - while the opposite side was dedicated to Bulgaria's own communist figures.

First Communist leader of Bulgaria - Georgi Dimitrov and the founder of Bulgarian socialism - Dimitar Blagoev, were positioned  alongside that of Todor Zhivkov, communist leader of Bulgaria from 1954 - 1989. Zhivkov's face was also the first thing to be destroyed - the tiles scraped out in 1992 by his own party, as they attempted to distance themselves from the disgraces Dictator.

     The Buzludzha Memorial House enjoyed almost a decade of use. Along with the many other memorial complexes around Bulgaria, it served as part of a network of educational heritage sites; though its size and complexity set it apart as the jewel in the crown. The Bulgarian people had paid for the construction of the monument - many had volunteered labour too - Entry was free for Everyone.  When it wasn't functioning as a public museum, the Buzludzha Memorial House was used as a venue for certain events by Bulgarian Communist Party. The memorial house remained in use until 1989, but in November that year, Todor Zhivkov was deposed from office by his own party, and soon the whole single-party system would be dismantled. The Buzludzha Monument quickly became redundant.

When it wasn't functioning as a public museum, the Buzludzha Memorial House was used as a venue for certain events by Bulgarian Communist Party. The memorial house remained in use until 1989, but in November that year, Todor Zhivkov was deposed from office by his own party, and soon the whole single-party system would be dismantled. The Buzludzha Monument quickly became redundant.

      Nowadays the Buzludzha Peak's Memorial House is a skelleton itself. The red star has been smashed, windows were broken, the murals that decorate the interior are falling gradually to the elements. Even if it is ruined, Buzludzha began to attract new visitors. The breathtaking location, the melancholic atmosphere of decay, combined with the rich political significance of the monument, attract the attention of people from all around the world. The monument is now often described as one of the most beautiful modern ruins.

Nowadays the Buzludzha Peak's Memorial House is a skelleton itself. The red star has been smashed, windows were broken, the murals that decorate the interior are falling gradually to the elements. Even if it is ruined, Buzludzha began to attract new visitors. The breathtaking location, the melancholic atmosphere of decay, combined with the rich political significance of the monument, attract the attention of people from all around the world. The monument is now often described as one of the most beautiful modern ruins.

    Book a private trip to Buzludzha Monument. It doesn't matter the city you want to depart - Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas, etc... We can arrange your one-day trip to this destination and many other in Bulgaria. If you choose our services you can be sure that you will have English-speaking driver, clean and air-conditioned car, which would make your vacation more pleasant and comfortable.

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Thursday, 09 December 2021

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