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Climbing to the Buzludja

By November 7, 2017No Comments

buzludjaA trouser and a fleece sweater are tossed in a chair, next to them a green jacket and a scarf … – It will be cold … Cold … But Buzludja Means Glacial.-
While the orange battery light flashes intermittently in the dark of this hotel room, I’m just wondering about my next day: -when we finally enter the Communist Monument and … -not, do not make predictions. – And if something will go wrong?

A few hours of sleep until the white filtering light from the curtains tells me it’s time to go. After a while, we are already on the Bulgare roads towards the Communist Monument: Buzludja is the most impressive structure of the Soviet past and remains an eldorado for many photographers. Located at 1441 meters above sea level on the homonymous Balkan mountain, it was inaugurated in 1981 as a tribute to the Bulgarian Socialist Party.
In fact, in 1891, party leader Dimitar Blagoev secretly gathered with his group in this area to form the Bulgarian Social Democratic Party. The large concrete structure of Buzludja has an elliptical shape (many compare it to an UFO) and is accompanied by a tall tower, ending with a red star (after his abandonment someone shot him because the legends said to have been made of rubies ).
After halfway, we are in a heavy mist, and the trees at the edge of the road emerge intermittently from the smoky white. To interrupt the silence comes the tom tom’s metal voice: -destination reached- “Yes but where ??? ‘It should be here but …”

But you can see nothing. We park in the white, go out into the white and look in the white: there are no mountains around us, nor do I know where to put my feet. We can find the stairs for the monument and, as the sight gets used to it, finally the impressive Buzludja’s silhouette.
We walk along the perimeter of the structure: its gray-hulled rusty shell is really overwhelming.
Here is the Hole: the narrow passage leads to rough concrete stairs. I can glimpse the ground floor and the main entrance, now it seems to be a deserted abandoned ship, so there is the twilight, the disastrous tangle of cables and rubble, and that penetrating fog from every corner of the large circular hall. In the amphitheater, the scarce stone seats emerge from the destroyed floors. Many Soviet mosaics and ornaments (some dedicated to the leader Theodor Givkov) have been voluntarily vandalized following the 1989 political changes. Since that date, Buzludja is in a state of profound abandonment by the Communist Party, which has no intention to re-evaluate it.

In order not to annoy us in photographs, I decided to explore the outer circular corridor that embraces the room: the windows are large rectangular holes in the concrete that drift into damp fog and frosty wind. On the ground there are puddles and fragments of destroyed mosaics, and the noise of continuous and deafening hiss of currents and the crackling of my steps on the bricks.
Some mosaics show an ideal Soviet world populated by happy children in the arms of some soldiers, women working in fields and men with serious, imposing faces lurking on red backgrounds. There are no furnishings, no floors, no lights of what was the Buzludja of the past. Try searching online on the internet, and you will find out how fierce the destructive act was toward the monument.

Once in the big room, I pause for a moment to look at the roof, or rather the rusty iron nude frame that holds the big falcon and hammer with the Cyrillic script: ‘пролетарий от всички страни. сьеиняваите се (Proletarians of all countries, came together!)
For a better view, I descend the damp steps with the echo of the drops of water in this gigantic place in the clouds. The writing is only a faded memory, a fine motto to itself in a place that perhaps would be forgotten forever. But how could it ever be possible?

Some writers spraied above the entrance of Buzludja: ‘Never forget your past‘. And is this what we do. I do not think that the recent announced measure of sealing again the building, can stop this nostalgic pilgrimage towards the frost.

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