In Shipka Pass, on the top of 1441m peak in the mountainous scenery of central Bulgaria, a UFO-shaped building stands like a watchtower. This concrete giant on Buzludzha mountain is the former Headquarters of the Bulgarian Communist Party and it’s beaming up increasing numbers of curious visitors. Right in the heart of Bulgaria, the Buzludzha monument’s sci-fi architecture, history and setting cast a powerful spell.

Despite the prohibition of local authorities to enter the building due to safety reasons, the braver can make their way inside through one of the busted panels. Once inside one can really feel the grandeur and pride or the old regime as remains of red carpeting, mosaic portraits and latticed glass ceiling glow alongside modern graffiti and piles of debris.

The road leading to Buzludzha bends along cliffsides and rigid terrain. These steep valleys are the scene of a series of battles from the 19th-century Russo-Turkish War. During the Battles of Shipka Pass, Russian and Bulgarian fighters repelled Ottoman troops against incredible odds and in sub-zero conditions. By building a meeting hall here, socialists broke ground at a nexus of Bulgarian national pride. So the question remains – is the Buzludzha Monument the next big tourist attraction or event venue in Bulgaria? We can only imagine the scale and uniqueness of the events that could take place here…



The Bulgarian UFO
Shipka Pass, Bulgaria