Report - - Socialist School, Bulgaria, April 2012 | European and International Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Socialist School, Bulgaria, April 2012


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28DL Full Member
This school was built in 1943, and at the time it represented a revolution in its approach to teaching. It embraced the philosophies of the Bulgarian Socialist Movement (which later developed into the Bulgarian Communist Party), and in addition to boasting more classrooms and equipment than any other school in the area, the site also featured Bulgaria's first ever teacher-training college.

However, the state soon began to do away with such elaborate buildings, rehousing its institutions in more practical, and more easily-maintained concrete shells. By the end of the 1970s the school was abandoned altogether.

Nowadays the school exists in a strange kind of limbo - it's by far the most famous building in town, and a well-loved, prominent landmark. However, while the council pay for annual repairs and decoration to keep the exterior looking presentable, the insides of the building have been left to rot.

I managed to get in at the back of the building, entering into the main assembly hall.

The school spread across three main floors, in addition to a large attic space. The halls and classrooms inside have been painted in a range of gaudy, neon colours, which contrast dramatically with the crumbling plaster and general state of disrepair. From the size of the halls, the elaborate decor and the hand-carved stone staircase, it is clear that the building was very much loved at one time... but after decades of neglect, much of the interior structure now seems beyond repair.

There were a few surprises lurking inside the building... the mummified remains of a stray cat in one room, and in another, a recently made bed - complete with wardrobe, a makeshift bench and an ashtray on the table. It seems that even now the school provides a home to someone.

Another room was filled from wall to wall with dried plants - I was told that a food processing company once leased the school as a place to dry herbs over the winter, but this project was abandoned in mid-progress, and the vegetation was left here to rot.

The attic - reached by a treacherous metal walkway extending up from the top of the stone steps - also contained a few unexpected treasures. A giant red star had been stored here, a decoration brought out for communist holidays, along with a number of wooden plaques. One commemorated the Bulgarian Socialist Revolution, of September 9th 1944, while others bore similar messages praising socialist ideology.

For more photos check out the full report on The Bohemian Blog: An Abandoned School in the Mountains of Bulgaria