New episode of my Bulgarian series, after « Discovering Ruse region » (episode 1) « Liberation Day Trip to Veliko Tarnovo » (episode 2) and « Top 10 things you can only see in Bulgaria » (episode 3), discover now… Buzludzha…
In most of the world, the pandemic crisis due to Covid-19 is still very much happening: Brazil, the US, India, among others, are counting more and more cases every day. But in Europe, things are slowly getting better, and more or less every two weeks rules are getting more flexible. This is why three weeks ago, we decided to celebrate the fact that we were now allowed to travel outside the Ruse district border in Bulgaria, by going on an adventure. My dear boyfriend came to Bulgaria in March with his car, but, unfortunately his poor Skoda was parked for most of its time here. So to exercice a little bit the car and because we both wanted to get some fresh air somewhere outside the city, we decided to take this opportunity and visit Buzludzha monument: the weirdest and coolest communist building ever.
We drove for about 4 or 5 hours from Ruse to get to the Buzludzha spot (I never remember how to write this thing actually). From Ruse we took the road going through Veliko Tarnovo –and enjoyed very much the sightseeing once again-, passing by the Independance monument, and through the Shipka Pass. The road got a bit bad near the end of our journey but everything went fine overall. A very nice Bulgarian family helped us find our way at some point too but honestly it would be really difficult to get lost on those roads.
Anyway, after a few hours on the road, here we were: Bulzhud… Buzludh??… We spotted the monument!
So we arrived at the first parking lot and thought well we might walk a little bit to the place. But then we met the very nice Bulgarian family who helped us on the road again and they told us there was another parking spot closer. So… We drove a bit further on the road! From the second parking, we walked up the moutain for fifteen minutes and reached it.
Buzludzha monument is huge! It is built in the very center of the country on a specific location: where the first congress of the Bulgarian Social Democratic Workers Party secretly met for the first time in 1891. It was supposed to be some kind of a congress center for the communist party in Bulgaria, but by the time they finished to build it in 1981, the communist ideology didn’t have much longer to live. After 1989 and the fall of the communist regime, the building was completely abandonned.
We took a tour around the building wondering how it was like when they were building this thing. It is really impressive. On top of the tower there used to be a giant red ruby star. Just for decoration? Well, not really: the red star, symbole of communism, was meant to be seen by all Bulgarians in the country, as a reminder of how great the party was.
Some people used to illegally explore Bulzhudzha a few years back but it seems that it is not possible anymore as a security guard is watching the place 24 hours. Even though it is abandonned some paintings and communist ceramics are still more or less intact. Here is a video with views from inside (thank you Georgi 🙂 !)
Again, we met the nice Bulgarian family on top of the hill, and they told us there was some plan to renovate the building and make it a hotel or a casino or something. I think it’s an interesting idea. I do love those abandonned places and how they remind us a part of history. But at the same time, what good does it give to the country? At least someone should think about how to make this place not just abandonned but also a touristic spot. Maybe sell some magnets. I would love to buy Bulzudzha magnets. Who wouldn’t.
I do enjoy to visit places without any touristic infrastructure. It’s so rare. I remember visiting Stonehenge in England a while ago: there was a canteen, shops, even a museum that basically didn’t tell us anything, a parking spot and a little electric train to go to the actual site. It was horrible. But they had to organize it this way because otherwise it wouldn’t remain preserved. But I do love magnets too.
Have you ever visited this place? What do you think, should it become a touristic resort or stay like this forever? Let me know! 🙂