Jump to content

Buzludzha monument

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Buzludzha monument
Паметник на Бузлуджа
42°44′N 25°23′E / 42.733°N 25.383°E / 42.733; 25.383
LocationBuzludzha Peak, Bulgaria
DesignerGeorgi Stoilov
Materialconcrete, steel, glass
Height70 metres (230 ft)
Beginning date1974
Completion date1981
Opening date23 August 1981

The Monument House of the Bulgarian Communist Party (Bulgarian: Дом паметник на БКП, romanizedDom pametnik na BKP), also known as the Buzludzha Monument (/ˈbʊzlʊdʒə/), was built on Buzludzha Peak in central Bulgaria by the Bulgarian communist government and inaugurated in 1981. It commemorated the events of 1891, when a group of socialists led by Dimitar Blagoev assembled secretly in the area to form an organized socialist movement that led to the founding of the Bulgarian Social Democratic Party, a forerunner of the Bulgarian Communist Party (itself a forerunner of the current Bulgarian Socialist Party).



Construction of the monument began on 23 January 1974 under architect Georgi Stoilov, a former mayor of Sofia and co-founder of the Union of Architects in Bulgaria.[1] The peak was leveled into a stable foundation using TNT, reducing the mountain's height from 1,441 metres (4,728 feet) to 1,432 metres (4,698 feet).[1] Over 15,000 cubic metres of rock were removed in the process.[1] The monument was built at a cost of 14,186,000 leva, equivalent to US$35 million today.

The monument exemplifies the futurist architecture common to many state-constructed communist buildings. All maintenance ended with the fall of communism in 1989, and the building remains closed to the public due to the hazards of the weakened structure.[1] The Buzludzha Project has helped to begin work on the monument's preservation, with the eventual aim of creating an interpretation center for Bulgarian history.[2]


The interior of the monument in its early days.

Inside the building, mosaics commemorating the history of the Bulgarian Communist Party cover approximately 937 square meters; 35 tons of cobalt glass were used in their manufacture. One-fifth of the mosaics have already been destroyed due to age, weather-related deterioration, and vandalism.

The largest mosaics were glorifying Vladimir Lenin and Karl Marx. The monument has a hall used for important celebrations of the Communist Party until the fall of communism in 1989. At the top of the monument’s hall, there was a star-shaped red window associated with communism. A corridor with 14 mosaics showed the labor of ordinary workers.[3]

Mosaics on the outer ring of the monument were built with natural stones gathered from rivers across Bulgaria; these mosaics have mostly vanished due to natural wear.

The building's main ceiling mosaic features the communist hammer and sickle encircled with a Communist Manifesto quote, "Proletarians of all countries, unite!"[4]

Opening ceremony


The monument was opened on 23 August 1981.[5] At the opening ceremony, Bulgarian communist leader Todor Zhivkov announced:

I am honoured to be in the historical position to open the House-Monument of the Bulgarian Communist Party, built in honour of the accomplishments of Dimitar Blagoev and his associates, who 90 years ago laid the foundations for the revolutionary Marxist Party in Bulgaria. Let the pathways leading here – to the legendary Buzludzha Peak, here in the Stara Planina where the first Marxists came to continue the work of sacred and pure love that was started by Bulgaria's socialist writers and philosophers – never fall into disrepair. Let generation after generation of socialist and communist Bulgaria come here, to bow down before the feats and the deeds of those who came before; those who lived on this land and gave everything they had to their nation. Let them feel that spirit that ennobles us and as we empathise with the ideas and dreams of our forefathers, so let us experience that same excitement today! Glory to Blagoev and his followers; those first disciples of Bulgarian socialism, who sowed the immortal seeds of today's Bulgarian Communist Party in the public soul!


Finnish rock band Haloo Helsinki! shot the entirety of the music video for their 2014 single "Vihaan kyllästynyt" at the monument;[6] Dutch rock band Kensington's 2015 "Riddles" music video was likewise entirely filmed on location there. The closing sequence of Rita Ora's Bang EP video was shot at the monument in early 2021.[7]

The site was used as a filming location for the 2016 action movie Mechanic: Resurrection; special effects were added to show the structure next to a shoreline, with a helipad added to the top of the saucer building. The monument is visited by the main protagonist in the 2018 comedy film I Feel Good.

The 2019 opera Frankenstein[8] by Mark Grey appears to take place inside the Buzludzha Monument.[9]



Buzludzha can be reached by two side roads from the Shipka Pass,[10] either a 16 km (10 mi) road from Kazanlak in the south or a 12 km (7 mi) road from Gabrovo on the north side of the mountain. The road in the south (Kazanlak) is in better condition than the other one as October 2023.



Multiple initiatives to preserve the monument had been undertaken throughout the years, most of them political and associated with the Bulgarian Socialist Party. In 2018, the monument was recognized by Europa Nostra as one of the seven most endangered heritage sites in Europe. The most recent preservation works started in 2019 under the Buzludzha Project Foundation, in collaboration with ICOMOS Germany and the municipality of Stara Zagora.[11] Together they were able to secure a $185,000 Getty Foundation grant to establish a Conservation Management Plan for the monument.[12] Early results indicated that the building could be preserved and used, leading to a second Getty grant in July 2020 to stabilize surviving mosaic panels. Conservation and preservation efforts are ongoing.[13]

Destroyed torch monument

See also



  1. ^ a b c d "The Monument". The Buzludzha Monument. Archived from the original on 2019-10-19. Retrieved 2016-12-05.
  2. ^ Ian Elsner (2018-07-23). "47. Buzludzha Is Deteriorating. Dora Ivanova Wants To Turn It Into A Museum". Museum Archipelago (Podcast). Museum Archipelago. Retrieved 2019-01-16.
  3. ^ Vassilkova, Adriana (2015-05-20). "Buzludzha Bulgaria". PrivateGuideBulgaria. Retrieved 2024-05-06.
  4. ^ "History". The Buzludzha Monument. Archived from the original on 2019-10-19. Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  5. ^ Bell, John D. (1986). The Bulgarian Communist Party from Blagoev to Zhivkov. Hoover Institution Press. p. 22. ISBN 9780817982027.
  6. ^ Rytkönen, Annika (2014-10-03). "Haloo Helsingin uutuusvideo kuvattiin poikkeusluvalla". Iltalehti (in Finnish). Retrieved 2015-07-31.
  7. ^ "Buzludzha and Pernik in the winter: Rita Ora posted the video shot in Bulgaria – Entertainment". TECH2. Archived from the original on 2021-08-25. Retrieved 2021-02-19.
  8. ^ "Frankenstein". La Monnaie / De Munt.
  9. ^ "Buzludzha Features in New 'Frankenstein' Opera". The Buzludzha Monument. Archived from the original on 2020-03-09.
  10. ^ The Rough Guide to Bulgaria (2008) ISBN 978-1-85828-068-4 p. 297
  11. ^ "New Getty Grants Will Help Preserve 10 Gems of Modernist Architecture Around the World". Getty Iris. 2019-07-17. Archived from the original on 2019-07-17. Retrieved 2021-02-19.
  12. ^ "Getty Foundation Announces $1.6 Million in Architectural Conservation Grants | Architect Magazine". www.architectmagazine.com. 2019-07-19. Archived from the original on 2019-07-23. Retrieved 2021-02-19.
  13. ^ "Positive Results For The First Buzludzha Technical Study". Buzludzha Monument. 2020-02-26. Retrieved 2021-02-19.

Media related to Buzludzha monument at Wikimedia Commons



Adrien Minard, Bouzloudja. Crépuscule d'une utopie, Paris, éditions B2, 2018.