A Symbol of Friendship for Bulgaria and the USSR
The monument of the Bulgarian Soviet Friendship is a grand communist era structure atop a man-made hill located on the edge of the Bulgarian city of Varna. The site provides great views over the city and the surrounding coastline.The monument was built by the Bulgarian Communist Party as a symbol of friendship between the peoples of both countries.
It also celebrates Russia’s defence of Bulgaria during the Russian-Ottoman War. The complex is deceptively vast and plays host to an abandoned book shop, propaganda centre and has a nuclear bunker beneath.
27,000 Volunteers. 10,000 Tons of Concrete and 1,000 Tons of Iron
The construction of the Bulgarian Soviet monument began in 1974 and took seven months to complete with over 27,000 volunteers. 10,000 tons of concrete and 1,000 tons of iron. Conceived by local sculptors Evgeni Barǎmov and Alyosha Kafedzhiyski, working in collaboration with the architect Kamen Goranov, the monument depicts Russian soldiers coming to the defence of the Bulgarians.
From the base to the top there is a staircase of 301 steps. At 23 metres tall and 48 metres wide, the monument is difficult to miss and is a fitting reminder of the stark nature of communist architecture.
Covered in Graffiti and Is Home to Stray Dogs
Nicknamed the Russian Monument by locals the sight has now fallen into disrepair. Since the fall of the Berlin wall in 89 the site has been looted of its bronze, is now covered in graffiti and is home to stray dogs and often hosts the homeless. The entrance is bricked up but for those interested there is a labyrinth of passages within and beneath the structure. Darmon Richter of Bohemian Blog has written extensively on his experience exploring the site so be sure to check out the link to his story.
[one_half]Opening Hours: The site is abandoned and as such has no opening times. [/one_half][one_half_last]Address: Park-Pametnik Na Balgaro-Savetskata Druzhba, Varna, Bulgaria[/one_half_last]
[one_half]Price: Free.[/one_half][one_half_last]Website: n/a[/one_half_last]