Everyday we made the hour long trek to the monument from our lodge.
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.”
Finally, on the 5th day of our stay the weather began to change.
Flying a microlight over Buzludzha National Park.
The monument was opened in 1981, but it’s no longer maintained by the Bulgarian government so has fallen into disuse.
Once inside, the deep snow took a bit of navigating.
Looking up one of the staircases into the main auditorium.
The auditorium as it used to be.
When the cloud finally cleared, the view was spectacular.
“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.”
Either side of the entrance are Socialist slogans written in large concrete Cyrillic letters.
Here’s the location of Buzludzha on Google Maps.
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.