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Buzludzha monument, Bulgaria

Captivating, otherworldly photos of Buzludzha, Bulgaria, by photographer Timothy Allen.

Timothy Allen
Everyday we made the hour long trek to the monument from our lodge

Buzludzha monument
Approaching the Buzludzha monument in a snow storm

“Over the years I’ve visited my fair share of abandoned buildings. They’ve always held a very strong attraction for me. Somehow, their silent decaying facades offer the perfect blank canvas for an introverted imagination like mine… literally allowing me to conjure up vivid images of the past in my present. Unfortunately, I fear that this may be the best opportunity I have to experience the reality of time travel in my life time, something that I’ve fantasised about incessantly since I was a small child.”

Buzludzha monument
Finally, on the 5th day of our stay the weather began to change

Buzludzha National Park
Flying a microlight over Buzludzha National Park

Buzludzha monument from the air

The monument was opened in 1981, but it’s no longer maintained by the Bulgarian government so has fallen into disuse.

Buzludzha monument from the air

Buzludzha monument
Once inside, the deep snow took a bit of navigating

Buzludzha monument
Looking up one of the staircases into the main auditorium

Buzludzha monument

Buzludzha monument
The auditorium as it used to be

Buzludzha monument from the air
When the cloud finally cleared, the view was spectacular

Buzludzha monument

Buzludzha monument

“Buzludzha is Bulgaria’s largest ideological monument to Communism. Designed by architect Guéorguy Stoilov, more than 6000 workers were involved in its 7 year construction including 20 leading Bulgarian artists who worked for 18 months on the interior decoration. A small, universally expected donation from every citizen in the country formed a large portion of the funds required to build this impressive structure that was finally unveiled in 1981 on what was the 1300th anniversary of the foundation of the Bulgarian state.”

Buzludzha typography
Either side of the entrance are Socialist slogans written in large concrete Cyrillic letters

Buzludzha typography

Here’s the location of Buzludzha on Google Maps.

Buzludzha monument
The monument in its former glory

Read more about photographer Timothy Allen’s Bulgarian experience on his blog: Forget Your Past.

You’ll catch Timothy here on Twitter, too.

More photos (in better less extreme weather) on ArchDaily and Kuriositas.

Via ISO50.

My second book on Amazon

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13 comments about “Buzludzha monument, Bulgaria”

  1. That is stunning David!

    I cannot remember when I last visited and commented on your website, but glad to see you’re doing well.

    Keep it up and thank you for all of the inspiration!

  2. O.M.G.
    Adds to ‘to do’ list.

  3. It’s been a few years, Rafie. I hope you’ve been keeping well since then.

    Blair, definitely.

  4. I love this, it’s actually more interesting as a ruin than it was in it’s heyday.

  5. I don’t know whether it’s just an overdose of science fiction films in my formative years; but I find there’s something so otherwordly about large, abandoned buildings.

    Simply beautiful and awe-inspiring images.

  6. Such a beautiful place. It reminded me of a place that could be used in Star wars. I absolutely love the typography on the outside and I wonder if it’ll ever be restored and put in use again.

  7. I just had one of those literal, jaw-dropping-wow-exclaiming moments while looking at these photographs. What an incredible building and not even 30 years old yet. The old soviet facade slowly fading from its walls. Incredible!

  8. Fascinating, almost like a space ship. One of my favorite building is the Baha’i temple in New-Delhi, India that is open to all religions for unity and meditation. I will include the link David, you can remove it if you wish. http://www.bahai.in/bahai-house-of-worship/

  9. I can only echo Blair and Vanessa. Amazing. I want to go.

  10. This is absolutely insane! He has captured his adventure with his photography so well. I also love the fact that he has shown the before and now shots on his post. It’s a really well done post, thank you for sharing David.

  11. In reply to Josten Dooley’s musings about the future use of the site, there’s a more thorough report on this place that I came across just the other day…

    the photos aren’t quite as professional as there, but it’s the best researched piece I’ve been able to find on it!

    http://www.thebohemianblog.com/2012/04/urban-exploration-communist-party.html

  12. Awesome photos.

    This is one of Bulgaria’s most famous Communist landmarks, and this is mainly due to the reason it was built; a one day conference for the leaders of the Communist parties. It was abandoned shortly after that day.

    The part that reads “small, universally expected donation” is slightly incorrect. The problem is, that if the donation was not made, you are killed, as a traitor to the country.

  13. Great post, David! In case you should be interested in some other photos or information to update your post, feel free to read my expedition report on the Buzludzha Monument: http://www.dont-complain.com/2014/02/04/buzludzha-buzludja/ I would gladly provide you also with high res photos! Let me know what you think! Best regards from Zurich.

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