An abandoned flying saucer like monument, this visually imposing building atop Mount Buzludzha is a stark reminder of Bulgaria’s communist past. It was built as a tribute to the founding of the Bulgarian socialist movement in 1891. The peak on which the monument is built was the site of a minor skirmish between the Bulgarians and the Turks in 1868 which was followed by an even more significant battle taking place in 1877. Later in 1891 a group of socialists lead by Dimitar Blagoev met on the peak to begin planning a socialist Bulgarian future. To commemorate these events the communist government in 1971 decided to build the monument with work commencing in 1974.
The site was built by military civil engineers from the Bulgarian army, along with volunteer labourers and a number of carefully selected independent specialist firms from across Bulgaria. The master builder was General Delcho and the architect was Georgi Stoilov, Several famous painters and sculptors have also participated in the decoration of the site. The Monument was opened in 1981.
After the socialist government’s fall from power in 1989 the Buzludzha monument was locked up and guarded until the mid 90s. Around this time the right-wing government of Ivan Kostov came to power and actively attempted to destroy, remove, and dismantle a number of the communist era monuments that were scattered across Bulgaria. At this point Buzludzha was intentionally left unguarded and opened to the elements.
Paintings have been vandalised, copper sculptures stolen, windows broken and mosaics smashed. The roof of the building is heavily damaged and the main entrance of the building has been closed to the public.
The monument is now abandoned and while some institutions and organisations are interested in the conservation or renovation of the building, the issue is that Buzludzha is government owned and very few people in the government wish to be seen as sympathetic to communist causes.
Despite this, adventurous and inquisitive types numbering as many as a few hundred a week venture into the building in the summer. The Buzludzha monument has played host to photo shoots, art exhibitions, political workshops, and even music videos. At the time of writing none of our writers had yet been to the monument so we can’t recommend a visit to anyone as we are not sure how safe the structure is. Instead enjoy these photos.
Opening Times and Admission:
The site is abandoned and as such has no admission fee or opening times.
How to get there:
Around 18 km down a small side road from the Shipka Pass.
Photo 1-5 by Kamren Barlow
Additional research and corrections made by Darmon Richter of thebohemianblog.com