So, the moment you (well, we anyway) have all been waiting for: Buzludzha. This huge monument to socialism was built in the seventies by the communists and opened in 1981 to commemorate the secret meeting of socialists in the area in 1891, where the started the formal socialist movement.
Just 8 years later, the iron curtain fell and the communists’ tight grip on eastern Europe began to fall. Presumably at some point in the next 23 years, the Bulgarian government abandoned it and looters moved in to steal the copper roof and trash the mosaics which lined the interior.
And that’s how it sit’s now, devastated, dilapidated, the unrecognisable shell of it’s former self. The concrete rots and rusts, plaster crumbles and the outlines of mosaics are visible where the coloured stones, glass and precious metal have been removed.
So we ignored the various road closed signs and scary notices which may have said ‘radioactivity’ or ‘live firing range’ for all we knew and ploughed on up the winding mountain pass to the top of the Central Stara Planina mountain range.
You could see it from 20 miles away, poking through the clouds, so we knew it was real and we were going the right direction from early on. It must have been raining shortly before we got there, because the whole place was ominously dripping wet, inside and out, but the sun was shining brightly.
It’s a pretty unique place, and could be turned into an incredible Bulgaria superclub with a few million pounds of investment and a massive international marketing campaign. But I think that would ruin it’s charm somewhat…
Forget your past: All empires will fall.
I’m sure people got some better pics than my phone but here’s some of my best- I’ve got hundreds and plenty of video. Pay close attention to the ice cream monument for some pigeon action!