Buzludzha – a dead communist giant
Buzludzha (Bulgarian: Бузлуджа – from Turkish meaning “glacially/icy”) is a historical peak in the Central Balkan Mountains, Bulgaria and is 1441 metres high (4728 ft). In 1868 it was the place of the final battle between Bulgarian rebels led by Hadji Dimitar and Stefan Karadzha and the Ottoman Empire.
The Buzludzha Monument on the peak was built by the Bulgarian communist regime to commemorate the events in 1891 when the socialists led by Dimitar Blagoev assembled secretly in the area to form an organised socialist movement with the founding of the Bulgarian Social Democratic Party, a fore-runner of the Bulgarian Communist Party. The Monument was opened in 1981. No longer maintained by the Bulgarian government, it has fallen into disuse.
The monument was built at a cost of 14 186 000 lev.
Buzludzha can be reached by two side roads from the Shipka Pass: either a 16 km (10 mi) road from Kazanlak or a 12 km (7 mi) road coming north from Gabrovo.
Now the monument is abandoned and vandalised. As the roof of the building is heavily damaged, the main entrance of the building has been closed to the public.
This monument located on Mount Buzludzha is the biggest ideological building in Bulgaria. It was built as a tribute to the creation of the Bulgarian socialist movement in 1891. Several access roads were built (today in a really bad shape) from Shipka and from the main road Stara Zagora – Roussée. The road exit for Buzludzha is a gigantic statue of Dimitar
The construction of Buzludzha was made possible thanks to government funds and supporters’ donations for an amount of around 14 186 000 leva (around 7 000 000 €). The site was built by civil engineering troops from the Bulgarian army and volunteers. The master builder was General Delcho Delchev who was in charge of the Stara Zagora civil engineering section. The author of this project was the architect Guéorguy Stoilov. Several famous painters and sculptors have participated to the decoration.
Ever since the superseding of Bulgarian president Todor Givkovand and the political changes that occurred in Bulgaria from 1989, the state of the monument has been worsening. portraits of Ludmila and Todor Givkov have been voluntarily destroyed. The copper adornments have been stolen. The building is slowly disintegrating; marauders are consistently breaking windows and stealing mosaics and ornaments. Nowadays, the monument is abandoned and no public institution seems to be concerned by the conservation of renovation of the building. The Bulgarian socialist party itself is not taking any action towards the maintenance of its most important symbol.The big star has been perforated by gunshots because it was thought to be made out of ruby(!)
Each year, the Bulgarian socialist party organizes a meeting which attracts thousands of followers – around 30 to 40 000 people – on the first Sunday of August (sometimes at the end of July). The gathering involves partying at the outdoor nightclub before the official celebrations, a socialist party meeting and a festal program. The official meeting always starts with the National Bulgarian Anthem and the Communist Internationale
(Sources: Wikipedia & http://www.buzludzha.com/history)