Breaking into the Buzludzha Monument, Bulgaria

Filed in Bulgaria, Travel by on August 30, 2016 0 Comments

Perched high on a mountain in the Central Balkan Mountains, Bulgaria, is a seemingly bland concrete structure that resembles a flying saucer with a tower next to it. Closer inspection of the tower shows a blazing red star shaped window, giving an insight into the purpose of this structure, the Buzludzha Monument.

Built in the 70s, the monument served as the headquarters of the Bulgarian Communist Party and the red star, a mark of the Soviet influence.


However, after its closure in the mid 90s, the monument fell into a state of disrepair through vandalism and neglect.
Perhaps it was the derelict nature of the building as it stands now, the size of the place or just the fact that it’s from the Soviet era; I had to visit this place since seeing it on a travelers blog years ago.

The road up the Buzludzha mountain was tight and winding; the potholes all over the road seemed to indicate that government had long abandoned not only the monument, but also everything around it.

As the monument came into view, the cold chill of the increasingly howling winds seemed to matter less as intrigue and anticipation took over. Compounded more so as we passed the “Torch Monument”; a sort of gateway to the main monument.


As we reached what would have once been a grand assembly area at the base of the steps for crowds to listen to rousing speeches, you could see the wind blowing fiercely through the long, unkempt grass all around.


We made our way past the ruins at the base of the steps and saw the main entrance come into view. Graffiti bearing the phrases ‘NEVER FORGET YOUR PAST’ and ‘Enjoy Communism’ were emblazoned across the front. If that wasn’t striking enough, the walls held large stone Cyrillic letters on both sides of the door, which I would later find out were patriotic poems.



Whilst the main doors had long been boarded up, we knew there was a way in. However, all I knew was that it was “somewhere off to the right of the main door”.



After circling the monument a couple of times, there it was, a small stack of stones piled up next to a literal hole in the wall and smashed window above it.


As we carefully crawled up through the hole and into the darkness the first thing that could be seen was flights of stairs…with entire pieces missing; the noise of the wind now louder than ever as it made its way through the hidden inner chambers of the monument.
Step by step we paced up the stairs until we finally came to the opening of the grand hall. And there it was; an enormous hall, mosaics all around us and the center piece to it all, a large hammer and sickle on the roof above us.



It was an indescribable feeling to stand in the midst of this absolutely massive yet dilapidated piece of the Soviet era. There was an eerie silence about the place in the absence of any other people around, broken only by the winds attempting to tear the metal roof apart, light shining through the gaping holes where it had already been successful in doing so.



We wandered around the main hall and its seating some, but didn’t venture much further than that as it simply didn’t feel safe being inside the structure at all.

Reading up on others encounters later on reveal that people have explored the bowels of the monument to find administrative rooms as well as climbed to the top of the tower to look out through the red star overlooking Bulgaria. However, these accounts have also recounted falling pieces of the building around them. Perhaps not the worst idea to get out of there in one piece rather than tempt fate.


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