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Report - The Buzludzha Monument aka The House of the Bulgarian Communist Party, Bulgaria - March 2015

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by PROJ3CTM4YH3M, Dec 8, 2015.

  1. PROJ3CTM4YH3M

    PROJ3CTM4YH3M 28DL Regular User
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    History

    The Buzludzha Monument aka The House of the Bulgarian Communist Party is a huge concrete circular structure that many say resembles an abandoned UFO. It sits derelict on top of the Buzludzha mountain slowly crumbling away as it deals with lack of maintenance and fierce winter conditions.

    The Monument opened in 1981 after being built at a cost of 14 186 000 leva (around 7 000 000 €) but after the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 only 8 years later the Communist Headquarters closed and began to fall into disrepair. The master builder was General Delcho Delchev who was in charge of the Stara Zagora civil engineering section. The lead architect of the project was Guéorguy Stoilov. Several famous painters and sculptors also contributed to the intricate decoration.

    Above the door in bold red paint is the harrowing message: ‘Never forget your past’ while alongside it is the more satirical: ‘Enjoy Communism’, in the style of the Coca-Cola logo clearly added by graffiti artists post closure.

    The building still holds a lot of significance to the communist party within Bulgaria and each year on the first Sunday in August around 30-40,000 people gather there as part of a socialist party meeting.

    Our Visit

    The House of the Bulgarian Communist Party also known as the Buzludzha Monument is one of those places that stands out as being something a bit special and was always a big location on the to-do list, but being so far away in Bulgaria it was just put off time and time again until finally we arranged a SOCC trip :). I’d seen hundreds of photos of this place from all seasons but I was really keeping my fingers crossed that we’d have some snow! Given our travel dates in March it was a long shot and as we travelled across a significant portion of Bulgaria the weather was pretty warm and sunny… Fortunately as we approached the Buzludzha mountain we could see that the peak had a nice dusting of the white stuff! So much so that we couldn’t even get our cars up to the hotel and our base camp for the next few days! After ditching the cars and walking the rest of the way to the hotel we ditched our bags and headed straight up to the monument to catch what was left of the daylight.

    The Buzludzha, given its location right on the top of the mountain, is very visible for quite some distance as you approach but the sheer size of the structure doesn’t set in until you walk up to the main building. The tower seems much larger than it appears from further away and even more so when you climb the ladders to the top! Once inside we made our way up the main set of stairs into the large circular auditorium which would have previously been filled with hundreds of communist party members. Undeniably the building is now in very poor condition with only the steel reinforced concrete structure remaining and a few original features from the mosaic pictures on the walls of the main room and the iconic emblem on the ceiling, still in the white cover of the snow this place was still very impressive.

    As it began to get dark I hunted around for access to the tower and made my way up to catch the sunset, I thought some of the other guys were following but I ended up up there alone for a good 45 minutes watching the sun go down over the surrounding mountain tops. Definitely one of those unforgettable moments in life! Shortly after it was back down, back to the hotel and time for cheap beer and local moonshine :D.

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    Higher res copies of the photos and quite a few more over on my website: http://www.proj3ctm4yh3m.com/urbex/...communist-party-monument-bulgaria-march-2015/
     
    Brenin, HughieD, Coxer and 4 others like this.

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  2. AndyK

    AndyK Behind Closed Doors
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    Awesome pics mate, looks great. You did well with that uber hangover! :p
     
  3. PROJ3CTM4YH3M

    PROJ3CTM4YH3M 28DL Regular User
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    I think I have long term brain damage from that night! Quad bikes in that snow was epic win though!
     
  4. ThisWay

    ThisWay 28DL Full Member
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    Cool shots - I especially like the gorgeous sunset (I like the portrait one on your site even more) and the last photo - I wish I'd taken one from that angle! I went in October 2014 and I'm hoping to go back in the snow within the next couple of years. You've made me wish I was up the tower for a sunset too - I just hung around the auditorium, which was still one of the best places for a sunset I've been.

    Did you check out the theatre nearby?
     
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  5. PROJ3CTM4YH3M

    PROJ3CTM4YH3M 28DL Regular User
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    Cheers :) Deffo get back in the snow, its pretty awesome anytime of the year but the snow really makes it! I'd recommend going earlier than we did as we were very lucky to have some snow cover on the mountain. The sunset up the tower shots were taken on day 1 when i went up alone to scope it out but just felt the need to wait it out up there for the sun to go down. Seen some shots from inside the auditorium from sunset and it looks pretty special too! And yes we did scope out the theatre, nice little bonus location, I'll have photos up in a couple of days / weeks hopefully, next on the list of the big backlog :)
     
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  6. ThisWay

    ThisWay 28DL Full Member
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    I've always wanted to go to Neuschwanstein Castle in the snow, so I'm thinking a trip from Germany to Bulgaria one February would be pretty awesome. Two spectacular buildings in spectacular locations in completely different states.
     
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  7. Leikoo

    Leikoo 28DL Member
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    ... just a breathtaking shots! that photo´s is... spectacular!
     
  8. HughieD

    HughieD 28DL Regular User
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    Utterly stunning. One of the top urbex sites in the world. Fab pictures too...
     
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  9. Jim Sullivan

    Jim Sullivan 28DL Full Member
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    Man that place is awesome. Phenomenal shots!
     
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