It had been on my wishlist for a while, and when we spotted the monument from the Valley of the Thracian Kings, the excitement started to build. We first focused on the ancient tombs of the forefathers of the Bulgarians, and our hearts started racing a little more when we made our way up the mountain. After the last turnoff, the road deteriorated, and we drove through a forest without any views around. When we got out of it, we found ourselves right at the foot of Buzludzha mountain, topped by the flying saucer-shaped monument. We quickly parked our car, got some extra layers to protect against the chilly temperatures, and started taking pictures. We first stopped at the enormous metal fists holding torches, and then walked up the hill on a clear path.
The higher we get, the more imposing the monument looms over us. We make several stops on the way, to admire the futuristic building. When we reach the plateau on top of the mountain, we see destroyed structures and a rectangular open space. Stairs, partly covered by grass, lead directly to what once was the entrance of this UFO-shaped building. Now an abandoned building, this once was the House-Monument of the Bulgarian Communist Party, funded by the Bulgarian people, and opened in 1981 to commemorate the founding of a forerunner of the Bulgarian Communist Party in 1891 by Dimitar Blagoev. Buzludzha mountain was chosen for symbolic reasons, as it was on nearby Shipka Pass that the Russians and Bulgarians dealt a final blow to the Turks in early 1878. The top of the mountain was levelled for the purpose of construction of the monument. The monument-house was only used until 1989, as it was abandoned after the fall of communism in Bulgaria.
Once at the doorstep of the futuristic, bombastic concrete building, you start to notice the many cracks, openings, and missing parts. The grey base still has remains of slogans in Cyrillic, but there are more graffiti in all colours nowadays. We walk around the building, and while the main entrance has been closed for a long time, there are rumours that you can still get in. But no matter how we look for an opening in the concrete wall, or floor, it seems that everything has been sealed off. There are multilingual signs everywhere that this site is guarded and entrance is strictly prohibited. I am eternally jealous of those people who have been able to sneak in, and even climb the tower all the way to its huge red star (the biggest such star in the world!), for this is no longer possible. Images of the inside show mosaics with Lenin, Marx, and Stalin, as well as Bulgarian communist figures, with a huge hammer and sickle in the top of the dome. We have to do with walking around this truly remarkable and unique building, and even on our way down, make frequent stops to admire it, before we drive back for a stopover at the nearby monuments commemorating the battles of Shipka Pass.
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Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Buzludzha monument (Bulgaria). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Buzludzha monument. Read more about this site.