Parked at the peak of Mount Buzludzha seems to be the resting skeleton of a U.F.O. This massive structure looming in the distance sits quietly, nearly forgotten, as the inside slowly deteriorates. Once a great monument commemorating Bulgaria’s freedom from Ottoman rule, and the birth place of the Bulgarian Communist Party. Today it is merely a beautiful structure abandoned by its government in an effort to forget their past, however, the people don’t let go so easily as above the main entrance reads “NEVER FORGET YOUR PAST” in bold red letters.
Most would come to admire the brilliant architectural work of Georgi Stoilov and feel satisfied with their visit, yet it is only when you crawl inside that you come to see the true beauty of this Communist headquarters. The interior walls that line the “Solemn Hall” are adorned with several tile mosaics and murals that depict a multitude of Communist themes: labor, harvest, war, and leaders. These crumbling mosaics are still vibrant in color, encompassing this great auditorium, but it is the center piece in the ceiling that brings the room together. Looming over you is a large mosaic inlayed with the infamous hammer-and-sickle motif.
This once powerful centerpiece of Bulgaria’s political past has also become a hot spot for comic graffiti artist. As you walk the steps up to the main entrance you are greeted with art, just right of the main doors, that reads, “Enjoy Communism,” a play off of Coca Cola’s long standing slogan. Then once inside, just before entering the main auditorium is a slogan sprayed across the wall, “Here start your nightmares. Ha ha ha.” Finally once in the great hall on the far end of the wall are three mosaic portraits, the one on the left now just a hollowed outline of where Todor Zhivkov’s face once lived, and to fill in the space is written, “It’s just a head.”
Yet, the true brilliance behind this forgotten structure is what is left to the imagination. When snow falls through the massive slits in the ceiling and cake the inside, it can turn into an urban skiing dream. That is exactly what happened when our team arrived with Lukas Joas and Ole Pavel equipped with two planks, a few shovels, and a winch. Here is our story from the House-Monument of the Bulgarian Communist Party.