Buzludzha

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.

Buzludzha
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8 Responses to “Buzludzha”

  1. Daggerstab Says:

    …though to my knowledge, there have been no Bulgarians in space.

    Actually…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgi_Ivanov
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleksandar_Panayotov_Aleksandrov

    They flew in the 1970s, the monument was officially opened in 1981. But I think that your interpretation (“I took these images as soviet propaganda of the USSR’s supremacy over evil capitalism in technology.”) may be correct.

    AFAIK, the destroyed mural used to depict Todor Zhivkov, the guy in the center is Dimitar Blagoev ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimitar_Blagoev ) and the right one is indeed Georgi Dimitrov.

  2. Daggerstab Says:

    Ouch, too many links in my previous comment. I forgot about Akismet.

  3. Natalie Says:

    Wow! That’s all I can say!

  4. metalux Says:

    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).

    the one on the left (that is gone) was Todor Zhivkov

    look at my movie on you tube

  5. Bulgaria « Matt & Kate's travel blog or: Matt & Kate's bogus journey Says:

    […] In the meantime, here is a link to that UFO building I mentioned – it is an awesome monument to both the greatness and stupidity of communism.  https://jimmybulgaria.wordpress.com/2009/07/12/buzludzha/ […]

  6. mthomp28 Says:

    Great photos! This place is truly something that PCVs should try and see when they are in Bulgaria.

    Matt Thompson
    B-15

  7. Furinax Says:

    I have visited this building as well. There is a bunker beneath it. We went down 2 floors, but encountert loads of flies there.

    Since we didn’t had a proper flashlight (I was walking around with the flash of my mobile phone) we decided it was not save to move ever further down.

    If you are planning to visit this place, be sure to wear proper shoes. There is glass everywhere, but that would be surprising when you look at the pictures 😉

  8. Buzludzha, Bulgaria « Urban Exploration in the World Says:

    […] https://jimmybulgaria.wordpress.com […]

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