Friends told me about and showed me photos of Бузлуджа (Buzludzha) over a year ago. I wasn’t impressed, nor was I particularly interested in visiting. But when I saw it on my way into Казанлък (Kazanlak), I had to visit. And, I’m extremely glad I did.
Бузлуджа is the kind of place that neither words nor photos can do justice. It must be experienced, and it’s definitely on the short list of the most interesting places I’ve been in
In 1891, a secret meeting took place on the mountain. The foundations of Bulgarian Communism were laid at that meeting. In honor of this history, a UFO-like meeting hall and 70-meter tower were constructed on top of the mountain. Finished in 1981, the monument was abandoned following the fall of Communism and has since been vandalized and painted with anti-Communist graffiti.
Seeing the place completely neglected and trashed makes visiting it rather surreal, and anyone with even a passing interest in history should check it out.
Here it is from the outside.
Note the graffiti over what once was the main entrance.
After crawling through a broken window, this is what you see inside.
What remains of murals adorn the walls and ceiling. This one, in the center of the ceiling, reads: "Proletariat of every country, unite!"
This mural once depicted, from left to right facing the mural, Todor Zhivkov, Dimitar Blagoev, and Georgi Dimitrov. Obviously, someone didn't care for Zhivkov, as his face has been removed.
More looks at the main conference hall and the murals.
The upper level is fringed with blown out windows which provide unobstructed views of the surrounding countryside.
Most people reach Бузлуджа via car, missing out on a wonderful hike through a serene beech forest.