It was one of the coolest places I’ve been to in Bulgaria. Last weekend I went to the old communist party headquarters. The building was located on top of a mountain overlooking the rose valley. It would be hard to reach it without a car.
A perfect location for all the head hanchos to meet and lead the country, right? In the distance you can (sort of) make out a little “rook” like building. That is the site where the Bulgarian and Russian armies turned back the Ottomans in 1877-78. It was Bulgaria’s Saratoga.
Given this history of the area, it’s too bad the building they built to rule the country looked like a UFO…
I’m not really sure what they were going for there but it’s interesting nonetheless. A flying saucer with a smoke stack.
As I walked closer to the building, there was very noticeable graffiti above the main entrance.
On either side were two gigantic inscriptions
The jest says “Workers of the every country unite and move forward! Others something something something our strong something something to work and to something something something.” It doesnt’ help when a lot of the letters have fallen. And the photo doesn’t include most of the wording…
On the other side I took a photo for creativity and not so much legibility:
From what I can read, this one is also similar; a call to arms for the proletariat to rise up.
I then found a small opening in side of the building and crawled through. I walked upstairs and found a huge conference room which once looked like this:
but now looks likes:
It was pretty impressive to be in what was once and glamorous and awe inspiring room only to see it tattered and vandalized.
As you can see, the former glory of the communist regime now lays in ruins. It was breathtaking standing in the middle of the of the room, looking at the impressive murals. It was some what ironic looking around at these ravished iconic depicting the Might of the Proletariat.
Note the rose in the hand by the quill. As mentioned earlier, this building is in Bulgaria’s rose valley. Bulgaria is the world’s largest producer of rose oil (between 50-75%, depending on what stats you look at)
There was a definite theme of astronauts, though to my knowledge, there have been no Bulgarians in space. I took these images as soviet propaganda of the USSR’s supremacy over evil capitalism in technology.
The most impressive mural was the one over the middle of the room. It once looked like this:
But now it looks like this:
It reads: “Proletariat of every country, unite!”
There were some pictures that looked intentionally vandalized. Like this one:
I’m not really sure who those dudes are. Perhaps the center on is Marx? I would think the right one would be Gerorgi Dimitrov, the founder of communism in Bulgaria, but I can’t say for sure (he didn’t sport a beard as far as I know).
In the end, this was one of the most impressive things I’ve seen since being a Peace Corps Volunteer in Bulgaria. I felt a strong connection to history; seeing this building as it lay in ruins, not preserved like a museum. For better or worse, this made the whole experience seem more “real”. I also appreciated the fact the building is now near a cow pasture and the surrounding area, including the steps up to the building, is covered in cow shit.