The Concrete Legacy of the Bulgarian Communist Party - Atlas Obscura
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Sofia, Bulgaria

The Concrete Legacy of the Bulgarian Communist Party

Take an adventurous day trip from Sofia to explore several of Bulgaria’s striking communist-era monuments.

For Obscura Day 2017, join us on this uniquely curated tour of Bulgaria’s communist-era monuments.

From Sofia, we’ll make a 300-mile round trip to visit the Buzludzha Monument, a colossal concrete saucer perched on a lonely peak in the Balkan Mountains. Your guide—an experienced tour leader and PhD scholar of Bulgarian communism—will be on hand to tell you the full history of the monument. Learn about its origins, its symbolism, and discuss the challenges currently facing this controversial symbol of Bulgaria's difficult past.

But that’s not all. We’ll take advantage of our comfortable private transport to visit a handful of other curiosities along the way.

Note: Ten percent of the proceeds from this tour will be donated to the Buzludzha Foundation, a project aimed at restoring the monument as a museum for future generations.

Your itinerary in more detail

  • Ring the bells at the Banner of Peace, a musical monument built during the communist period. This varied collection of bells was donated from all around the world and includes uniquely styled designs from countries such as Yugoslavia, North Korea, and Iran.
  • Ascend into the Balkan Mountains, driving through the historic Shipka Pass to reach the stone monument at its peak. Learn about the epic Battle of Shipka Pass, a defining moment in Bulgarian history that unfolded here during the 1877-78 Russo-Turkish War. 
  • Sample local rustic specialties at a restaurant nearby, the walls decorated with the owner’s eye-catching collection of communist memorabilia. (Lunch is included in the ticket price.)
  • Marvel at the space-age Buzludzha Monument, a colossal concrete saucer perched at an altitude of 4,700 feet. Opened in 1981, the monument was funded by citizen donations and decorated in rich mosaics to form a glittering shrine to the communist ideal. Since the fall of Bulgarian communism it has stood abandoned, and is now one of the world’s most intriguing modern ruins. (These days the monument is sealed, and cannot be entered—but we’ll take all the time we need to admire the structure and views before moving on.)
  • If time allows, we’ll make one last stop at a very special location nearby—and then we return to Sofia, dropping you off in the city centre at roughly 9pm.


  • Saturday, May 6: 9am – (approx.) 9pm
  • Ticket Price: €75
  • Meeting Place: Alexander Nevsky Cathedral at 9am
  • Includes: Comfortable transport, a hearty lunch, three (or more) memorable locations… and a fascinating insight to the rise and fall of the Bulgarian Communist Party.
  • This adventure will have a maximum of 12 guests.


Contact Darmon Richter at

All Sales Final. No Refunds or Exchanges.

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