Walking up the steep hill towards the Buzludzha Monument, a large, dark outline encases you from above and the closer you get to the building, the more you feel its oppressive feeling. From a distance, the concrete relic is akin to a flying saucer but the reality is much sinister. Scrawled outside at the entrance are the graffitied words, ‘Forget Your Past’, which could be interpreted as sympathy to a sentiment of what this vast construction signified; expensive funds, mostly paid the Bulgarian people, financed this symbolic building which was only meant for a few elite.
(Huge lettering on the sides of the main entrance)
Since Communism ended in 1989 Buzludzha has been abandoned and left to decay. The once ornate mosaics portraying Communist propagandist montages and huge iconic portraits of Lenin, Marx and Engels, have now crumbled and been left to fall on the disintegrating floor. There is an eerie feeling when you walk around the building and despite its decline, it is easy to imagine how lavish the floors and walls once were (see the links below for photos of it in its heyday).
Finished in 1981, it was built by the army, prisoners and Bulgarian artists, many of whom died in their efforts, to commemorate the formation of the socialist movement back in 1891 – on the spot where they would hold their secret meetings. Nowadays it has mostly been left alone (although a yearly ‘remembrance’ meeting of Communism is still held there) and only visited by a few off the beaten track tourists and curious visitors.
The monument is situated in the Buzludzha National Park, close to the Shipka Pass and centred in the Stara Planina Mountain range.
More photos and interesting links for further information: