National Palace of Culture
The National Palace of Culture (Bulgarian: Национален дворец на културата, Natsionalen dvorets na kulturata; abbreviated as НДК, NDK), located in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, is the largest multifunctional conference and exhibition centre in south-eastern Europe. It was opened in 1981 in celebration of Bulgaria's 1300th anniversary.
The centre was initiated by a suggestion of Lyudmila Zhivkova, daughter of the communist leader of the former People's Republic of Bulgaria Todor Zhivkov). The project was designed by a team of Bulgarian and foreign architects led by Alexander Georgiev Barov (1931–1999). The landscaping of Bulgaria Square in front of the National Palace of Culture was made by another team of architects and landscape engineers, led by Atanas Agura. Internally, the building exhibits a unified style, employing an octagonal motif and heavy, dark colours. Large bright murals depicting historical figures and events cover the main wall of many of the smaller halls.
In July 2005, the National Palace of Culture was proclaimed the best congress centre in the world for the year by the International Organization of Congress Centres.
The conference centre is equipped to host a variety of events, including concerts, multilingual conferences, exhibitions and shows. It has an area of 123,000 m² on eight floors and three underground levels. The National Palace of Culture has 13 halls and 15,000 m² of exhibition area, a trade centre and a car park. The main hall can seat over 3,000 people.
The Sofia International Film Festival takes place in the NDK.
The National Palace of Culture is a major venue for concerts in the Bulgarian capital. Its halls are well designed and equipped with comfortable seats. Many world famous singers, musicians and dancers have performed here over the years some among them being José Carreras, Mark Knopfler, Jon Lord, Gary Moore, Steve Vai, Anastacia, Sting, Joe Cocker, Uriah Heep.
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