This was a completely accidental find, but definitely one that impressed. We had stopped in a little village for a few beers late in the afternoon, and spotted it in the distance. We went to investigate, and after an hour of wondering round outside - trying every window, door and balcony we were about to give up until we found a way in. It seems someone has been keeping an eye on it - security signs everywhere, PIRs inside etc.. and after about 30 seconds of being inside we heard a dreaded alarm. Not wanting to get on the wrong side of the Bulgarian plod we made a quick escape, and after hiding nearby for over half an hour no one had come to check it, and the alarms had stopped. By this point we were losing the light, so a quick browse on Airbnb we'd sorted a room for the night, with the intension to come back the following morning.
The following morning come, and we were back - wise and prepared. Someone had been there since we'd left, as there were tyre tracks and a multitude of footprints outside. We made our way in, careful to avoid the sensors and shot all we could without triggering them. It seems this place has been abandoned since 2007, but with way the furniture has been left, fully furnished rooms and running electricity/lights, you'd have thought it closed yesterday! The time come when there was no other way - the ringing of the alarm filled the air as we grabbed the last few shots of this beautifully furnished hotel, before a mad dash back to the car and a rather long drive back to the airport!
As always, thanks for looking!
Visit by Snowstorm and fog... I HATE FOG!!!
Sorry for the bad Images but i've more times clean my lens as drop my trigger.
Stay inside... by Miaro Digital, auf Flickr
Snowstorm at Buzludzha 01 by Miaro Digital, auf Flickr
Snowstorm at Buzludzha 02 by Miaro Digital, auf Flickr
Snowstorm at Buzludzha 03 by Miaro Digital, auf Flickr
Snowstorm at Buzludzha 04 by Miaro Digital, auf Flickr
Snowstorm at Buzludzha 05 by Miaro Digital, auf Flickr
The Buzludzha Monument aka The House of the Bulgarian Communist Party is a huge concrete circular structure that many say resembles an abandoned UFO. It sits derelict on top of the Buzludzha mountain slowly crumbling away as it deals with lack of maintenance and fierce winter conditions.
The Monument opened in 1981 after being built at a cost of 14 186 000 leva (around 7 000 000 €) but after the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 only 8 years later the Communist Headquarters closed and began to fall into disrepair. The master builder was General Delcho Delchev who was in charge of the Stara Zagora civil engineering section. The lead architect of the project was Guéorguy Stoilov. Several famous painters and sculptors also contributed to the intricate decoration.
Above the door in bold red paint is the harrowing message: ‘Never forget your past’ while alongside it is the more satirical: ‘Enjoy Communism’, in the style of the Coca-Cola logo clearly added by graffiti artists post closure.
The building still holds a lot of significance to the communist party within Bulgaria and each year on the first Sunday in August around 30-40,000 people gather there as part of a socialist party meeting.
The House of the Bulgarian Communist Party also known as the Buzludzha Monument is one of those places that stands out as being something a bit special and was always a big location on the to-do list, but being so far away in Bulgaria it was just put off time and time again until finally we arranged a SOCC trip :). I’d seen hundreds of photos of this place from all seasons but I was really keeping my fingers crossed that we’d have some snow! Given our travel dates in March it was a long shot and as we travelled across a significant portion of Bulgaria the weather was pretty warm and sunny… Fortunately as we approached the Buzludzha mountain we could see that the peak had a nice dusting of the white stuff! So much so that we couldn’t even get our cars up to the hotel and our base camp for the next few days! After ditching the cars and walking the rest of the way to the hotel we ditched our bags and headed straight up to the monument to catch what was left of the daylight.
The Buzludzha, given its location right on the top of the mountain, is very visible for quite some distance as you approach but the sheer size of the structure doesn’t set in until you walk up to the main building. The tower seems much larger than it appears from further away and even more so when you climb the ladders to the top! Once inside we made our way up the main set of stairs into the large circular auditorium which would have previously been filled with hundreds of communist party members. Undeniably the building is now in very poor condition with only the steel reinforced concrete structure remaining and a few original features from the mosaic pictures on the walls of the main room and the iconic emblem on the ceiling, still in the white cover of the snow this place was still very impressive.
As it began to get dark I hunted around for access to the tower and made my way up to catch the sunset, I thought some of the other guys were following but I ended up up there alone for a good 45 minutes watching the sun go down over the surrounding mountain tops. Definitely one of those unforgettable moments in life! Shortly after it was back down, back to the hotel and time for cheap beer and local moonshine :D.
Higher res copies of the photos and quite a few more over on my website: http://www.proj3ctm4yh3m.com/urbex/2015/11/28/urbex-buzludzha-communist-party-monument-bulgaria-march-2015/
Resembling a UFO perched high on a peak of the Balkan Mountains, the House of the Bulgarian Communist Party was a built as a monument to commemorate the founding of the Bulgarian Social Democratic Party. After a quarter of a century of abandonment the monument has been stripped and looted.
In 1891 the Turks were being expelled from Bulgaria marking the end of 500 years of Ottoman Rule in the country. A secret meeting took place on the peak of Buzludzha mountain led by Dimitar Blagoev. The meeting would ultimately lay down the foundations for what would become the Bulgarian Communist Party. 90 years later the BCP built their headquarters as a monument at that very location.
Sunrise at Buzludzha Mountain
Taking seven years to construct, and costing over 16 million Bulgarian Levs (almost Â£7 million), mainly collected from the Bulgarian people by the state, the monument stands at 107-metres-high and features a huge flying-saucer shaped auditorium. The building itself was designed by Georgi Stoilov and more than 60 artists worked on the designs for extensive tiled murals that adorn the interior. The giant tower features a red Soviet star on each side â€“ three times larger than the Soviet star at the Kremlin.
The front of the building was inscribed with verses from â€œThe Internationalâ€ and â€œThe Workerâ€™s Marchâ€ â€“ political songs that were meaningful in the communist era. Inside featured many marble surfaces, and the staircases were decorated with red cathedral glass. The 15-metre-high main hall was decorated with a 500 sq. metre mosaic featuring portraits of prominent communist figures Marx, Engels, Lenin and the Bulgarian communist leader Todor Zhivkov. The dome ceiling was covered with thirty tones of copper.
The centrepiece of the ceiling features a hammer and sickle. The words surrounding the image read â€œThe proletariats of every country join togetherâ€. Many other phrases are written around the building, some original and many more added post abandonment. Many years ago the slogan â€œforget your pastâ€ was painted in graffiti above the front doors. The word â€œneverâ€ has recently been added preceding the original words.
The site was widely regarded as one of the greatest icons of the communist world at the time. The end of the communist era in Bulgaria in 1989 saw a change in attitudes towards the many monuments throughout the land, and ownership of the monument at Buzludzha was transferred to the state from the Bulgarian Communist Party in 1991. The state promptly closed the building, just 10 years after its construction and the site has been abandoned ever since.
24 years on, the building has been stripped bare and looters have taken everything of value. In the wintertime the whole structure fills with snow and takes on a post-apocalyptic appearance. But despite this the monument remains as a prominent landmark, a testament to the 6,000 workers who constructed it. Whether the Bulgarians like it or not, this communist-era legacy stands proud.
Verses from political songs on the front of the building
All the walls were covered with murals, but most were hidden by snow
View from the 107m high tower
Inside the star on the tower
Capturing the movement of the stars in the background over a 1 hour period