We just spent a few days in Bulgaria. We saw a number of the famous sites, but the ones that I really enjoyed as a child of the 80s were the decaying remnants of Soviets. We saw some random things like these Soviet stars in front of a restaurant.
Driving near the town of Vatras we saw the monument to Томин мост. A little research found that this was the site of a uprising around September 26, 1923, when the communist sympathizers tried to overthrow the government. They failed until WW2 when the Soviets took over. The monument was pretty cool.
This sign near Ruzhintsi was pretty cool.
But the highlight was the famous UFO building of Buzludzha (Бузлуджа). Wikipedia describes it thusly:
The House-Monument of the Bulgarian Communist Party (or informally, the Buzludzha Monument) was built on the peak by the Bulgarian communist regime. It commemorated the events of 1891, when a group of socialists led by Dimitar Blagoev assembled secretly in the area to form an organised socialist movement that led to the founding of the Bulgarian Social Democratic Party, a forerunner of the Bulgarian Communist Party.
This was on the road approaching the site.
We drove up the winding road into the snow line. Eventually we got to a snow covered hill that was about as close as we’d be able to drive. I grabbed my camera and walked up the hill, joining groups of hikers who started much farther down the hill.
The site itself is truly unique, but it’s fallen into disrepair.
I held my phone through the gated door to attempt to get a photo of the interior. The ones I’ve seen online are far better, but I wasn’t able to get beyond the locks.
I was there during that perfect evening hour of just as the sun begins to set, but that made me worry about getting down the hill before it was totally dark. I had a long walk back, so I snapped a few more and hurried off.
This marker was on the side of the road as we drove down.
The Soviet Union may be gone, but it’s left an eroding imprint on Bulgaria.
For more on Bulgaria, click here.