History · Politics · Tourism

Bulgarian Socialist Party & the Monument of Buzludzha

Every year the Bulgarian Socialist Party are gathering around the monument of Buzludzha, in the Balkan mountains, to give speeches. This year was a historical celebration since they are the oldest party of Bulgaria. Yesterday on the 30th of July did they not just have their annual meeting but also celebrated the 125 year of the existing party. 

Background to the Bulgarian Socialist Party

Every year around the first of August, Bulgarian socialist from all over the country gather around the monument of Buzludzha to give speeches and inspiration to continue their work. The Bulgarian Socialist Party has exist for 125 years, at first it was called the Bulgarian Social Democratic Workers Party. The reason why this yearly celebration takes place around the first of August is because on the second of August 1891 Dimitar Blagoev was founded this party on the same peak as the monument lays today. But shortly after that did the party change their name to Bulgarian Communist Party. The party was a result of the political changes around both Bulgaria but also globally and was strongly influenced by the Marxism-Leninism in Russia. In the year of 1989 the Cold War reached its end, the Berlin Wall as well as the Warsaw Pact fell apart, and so did the political changes affect Bulgaria. In 1990 the party had abandoned the Marxism-Leninism and once again changed their name to Bulgarian Socialist Party. The party has ever since the fall of socialism in Bulgaria struggled with getting back their power. However, Bulgarian Socialist Party has in the year of 2016 the largest numbers of members with 105 000 members.

Picture: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People%27s_Republic_of_Bulgaria

The Annual Celebration at the Buzludzha Peak

In order to memorize and honor Dimitar Blagoev the founder of the party the Bulgarian Socialist Pary gathered at the historical peak in the Balkan Mountains where it once started. Socialist from all over the country gather up together to show their respect and enthusiasm for the party, for its history as well as for a hopeful future. Since this Buzludzha is far from big cities many people come one or two days earlier and make a feast out of it. They do tenting or rent a hotel room and make some BBQ and enjoy each others company. There is a youth disco for the young visitors, and a festive program for all the participators. The program always opens up with the performance of Hymn of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Internationale. There are many speeches hold during the program. Majority of the visitors are pensioners that remembering the days of the Bulgarian socialism and young people that wants socialism for the future of Bulgaria.

This year there was an extra big celebration since they celebrated their 125 year of the party, but also since the President election is coming up in the beginning of November 2016. The recent President of Bulgaria represent the opposite of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, Rosen Asenov Plevneliev, represent the party GERB. So many of 2016´s speeches was about how this year they will win the Presidential election.


Buzludzha- A Controversial Monument

This monument was built in order to commemorate Dimitar Blagoev, the founder of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, in 1981. The architect was Guéorguy Stoilov, the monument was started to be built in 1974 and was opened in 1981. This building became the Bulgarian Socialist Party´s headquarter. The monument is a huge building with its 1441 meters high. Next to the monument is a tower that´s being crowned with a big red star that is the biggest star with its 12 meter´s. This was a big and expensive project and was built with help from the Bulgarian military as well as enthusiastic volunteers. The monument is full of mosaic in communist art.

After the changing from socialism to democracy in Bulgaria 1989 the monument of Buzludzha the building was left to its own faith. Its still owned by the Bulgarian Socialist Party but has been decaying for decades now.It costs too much money to maintain in good shape and to renovate it. The building is a matter about safeness and you are not suppose to enter. However, Buzludzha has become something of a Mecca for people that are attracted of abandoned buildings. There is a whole underground culture that adores this place and ignore the fact that you are not suppose to enter because of the danger. There have been a French music group shooting a music video in there, as well as a photo session for models there. A British music group named their latest album to Buzludzha. And there is an ongoing discussion of what to do with this building. An Bulgarian architect, Dora Ivanova, wants to make a museum out of it, meanwhile other forces that wants to transform it to a concert hall.

The big abandoned building that awakes feelings and opinions in every Bulgarian heart doesn’t  seem to have a clear answer at the moment. Many people think its belonged to the past and should be demolished. Other people mean even if its tough its part of the Bulgarian history and should be remembered in order not to repeat the history again. The peak of Buzludzha is very close to Shipka a mountain peak in the Balkan Mountains where the final battle against the Ottoman Empire took place in 1877 (3 of March- Liberation Day of Bulgaria). This also makes a debate of where to put the focus since the monument of Shipka is a national symbol of freedom. Buzludzha is a very complicate building connected with socialism, and for some people its representing a better, more functional Bulgaria then today, and for others this is a represent of hard times with lots of boarder controls and military force.

No matter, the Bulgarian Socialist Party will remain their annual meetings at the peak of Buzludzha for as long as the monument stands there. What do you think about the monument of Buzludzha? How would you like to see the future of this monument? Buzludzha or Shipka?



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3 thoughts on “Bulgarian Socialist Party & the Monument of Buzludzha

  1. I have a fascination for these Soviet buildings so I do find the Buzludzha very interesting. I would love to see it renovated and I am sure the tourists would come to see it! A concert hall would be great too but then they would strip it of the Soviet mosaic decorations for sure. A Finnish band, Haloo Helsinki, also filmed a music video there. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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