The Buzludzha monument
March 3, 2012 4:58 AM   Subscribe

A photographer visited the abandoned Buzludzha monument. The Buzludzha monument is located on top of a mountain in the middle of Bulgaria. It's an impressive example of communist architecture that is mentioned in this previous mefi post.
posted by joost de vries (30 comments total) 58 users marked this as a favorite
It looks like what people in the 60s and 70s thought The Future was going to look like. I could easily see that as a set on a 1972 sci-fi show.
posted by FirstMateKate at 5:05 AM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

That is straight out of a dystopian scifi movie. Wow.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 5:21 AM on March 3, 2012 [5 favorites]

Very cool, nice post!

I wonder how the snow got all the way inside. Just decades of wind and subzero temperature? Or is it an incredible amount of frost?
posted by sidereal at 5:23 AM on March 3, 2012

> I wonder how the snow got all the way inside.

The dome had a copper roof. Note that unsupervised copper has a tendency to, um, sublimate.
posted by scruss at 5:32 AM on March 3, 2012 [7 favorites]

Something for Skyrim DLC?
posted by Sebmojo at 5:34 AM on March 3, 2012 [4 favorites]

Something for Skyrim DLC?

Honest, my first reaction was Ancient Nordic Barrow. Look, there's a chest! Right next to that closed coffin...
posted by sidereal at 5:38 AM on March 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

Any other Chrome users having a hell of a time getting this to load?....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:39 AM on March 3, 2012

It's loading a lot slower now than it did an hour ago (Safari and Chrome on OS X here).
posted by sidereal at 7:00 AM on March 3, 2012

Awesome, and only 6 hrs from Istanbul.
posted by Vindaloo at 7:06 AM on March 3, 2012

No loady.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 7:09 AM on March 3, 2012

I've been right by there. It's a lot of driving out into the middle of nowhere, and the Shipka Pass can get quite steep. That being said, it's not a sight you ever forget. You can see it coming for miles over the cliffside, in that weird blue tint that faraway things have. The shape of it is especially striking amidst all that rolling, curvaceous green. And it's funny how few people know about it - my friends who had been going to Bulgaria since 1965 had never been there, and a lot of the local folks just don't understand why anyone would take such a specific interest in the discarded relics of the Soviet era. There's quite a big divide in Bulgaria between people who want to preserve the old socialist monuments (the "never forget" crowd) and those who want it all torn down as soon as possible. If Buzludzha wasn't out in the middle of nowhere, I'm sure it would have been more purposefully torn down by now, instead of simply letting it rot as they've done.
posted by mykescipark at 7:28 AM on March 3, 2012 [6 favorites]

Thanks for posting this! It's sort of creepy and very cool.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 7:44 AM on March 3, 2012

Wow - - except for the stunning mountaintop location, that looks a lot like where I work.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 7:50 AM on March 3, 2012

In the Netherlands we also have a 60s futuristic ufo building: the evoluon in Eindhoven.
posted by joost de vries at 8:01 AM on March 3, 2012

posted by ShutterBun at 8:09 AM on March 3, 2012 [4 favorites]

It took a long time for me, too, EmpressCallipygos, and I'm on Chrome as well. The photos are amazing, though, and worth waiting for. I only wish the writing was better--all the errors were distracting, and the place itself is fascinating!

Hard to believe this building is only 31 years old. It looks ancient, and otherworldly. It's like some strange artifact...perhaps rediscovered a millenium later.

...After a freak snowstorm strands a group of Bulgarian intelligence forces high in the mountains.

Now, one of their team grievously injured (he fell when they were climbing, or has hypoxia, or developed psychosis after being forced to ascend to the summit without allowing his body to properly acclimate first, whatever, you'll have to work with me here) and desperate to survive, the courageous group (obviously suitably eclectic and diverse--we're going to need an expert consultant, research analyst, maybe a helicopter pilot or unwary hiker caught up in all this to balance out the team, preferably young, American and good-looking. Oh, and some snooty guy with an English accent, too) seeks shelter in, hm, let's call it the, "mysterious structure, possibly a temple of some sort", as theorized by the snooty English guy (knew he would come in handy).

The fire they light (to keep their injured comrade warm, naturally) sets off a tracking beacon, which has lain dormant for centuries in the harsh, unforgiving climate of the summit until this moment in time (I was thinking the heat of the fire set it off, but now I'm leaning towards them hastily gathering up whatever they can find to use as kindling, and one of them, the Private Hudson of the group, inadvertently triggering the beacon in the process).

So now the beacon is signaling someone, they don't know who, but they're hopeful this will lead to them being discovered and rescued, and they're all roundly turning on English guy for thinking this place was an ancient temple when clearly there is superior technology already in place. He narcs on the Hudson clone for setting off the beacon, pointing out it could be the very enemies they are fleeing that are on the way. Decisive Team Leader has to shut them all up with a pithy, tough speech that simultaneously sobers up the squabbling team and motivates them to come together to fight a common foe.

Which is fortunate, because of course the beacon is ACTUALLY signaling the alien forces responsible for constructing the temple (probably enlisting slave labor to do the actual heavy lifting), which is, indeed, ancient.

And, oh yeah, the stuff they used for kindling was sacred to the aliens, and now its all burnt up and they are PISSED. Some serious shit is about to go down, and...


Sorry about that. Probably been watching too many sci-fi movies lately.

posted by misha at 8:13 AM on March 3, 2012 [6 favorites]

They should restore it and make it into a casino with a ski resort beneath it. Sad to see such a gorgeous building left to rot.
posted by humanfont at 8:32 AM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Amazing. Proper best of the web. Reminds me of where Blofeld lived in On Her Majesty's Secret Service
posted by ciderwoman at 8:44 AM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Wow this is amazing. In looking up more pictures of this site I came across this. There's a couple of pictures, sans snow (click on 'see the original' near the lower right corner to see some awesome photo enhancing skills).
posted by sweetmarie at 9:00 AM on March 3, 2012 [4 favorites]

Oh, excellent post! Thank you!
posted by Wolfdog at 9:40 AM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

... so you're telling me that some time-traveling Communist architect has somehow compromised my Minecraft account and added elements of propaganda.

posted by Graygorey at 9:56 AM on March 3, 2012

I think it looks like a beached concrete starship, just like Olympic Stadium in Montreal.
posted by Sauce Trough at 10:01 AM on March 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

Honestly, it looks like one of those rest-stop/scenic areas that are all over the Appalachians...
posted by empath at 10:05 AM on March 3, 2012

"originally covered with 30 tones of copper". Holy mahi-mahi, Batman! Watchu got here is your world's friggin' biggest calypso steel drum!
posted by Mike D at 10:25 AM on March 3, 2012

Wow. Love the "forget your past" graffiti. And the first comment is amazing:

The last time I entered this building was when it was still operational! You can imagine the effect it had on a teenager seeing it for the first time. My memories from this place are really vivid. The reason, for me being there, was an official function(probably one of the last ones…) – I was formally accepted in the Communist Youth League and handed my membership card. At that time (around 1988) that was a compulsory exercise… surreal times!
posted by soy bean at 12:37 PM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

A Cyrillic-reading friend of mine pointed out that the broken "Socialist slogans written in large concrete Cyrillic letters" in this picture are actually the Bulgarian lyrics to The Internationale.
posted by vorfeed at 1:02 PM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Cool. I remember going there while at a nearby summer camp when I was in elementary school. We picked off pieces from the mosaic on the walls to play with.
posted by halogen at 1:09 PM on March 3, 2012

This mosiac is especially interesting to me. I assume this was one of those standard Soviet-satellite heroic portraits of the Communist Patriarchs: Lenin, Marx, and whoever the local (Bulgarian) socialist party founder was. If so, then it's notable that only one of the three has been meticulously exterminated, leaving Marx and the Bulgarian untouched.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 2:30 PM on March 3, 2012

>Amazing. Proper best of the web. Reminds me of where Blofeld lived in On Her Majesty's Secret Service

website says:

>Buzludzha… If Blofeld was a real person… he would definitely live here

Tee hee. I was just thinking this would make a great set for a James Bond movie when I came on that line in the site.
posted by thermonuclear.jive.turkey at 2:42 PM on March 3, 2012

Did anyone mirror this before it went down?
posted by thewalrus at 2:52 AM on March 4, 2012


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