Those of you who have heard of this "flying saucer" are sure to have the same questions that disturbed us before we reached it. How to get? Can you visit for free? It is dangerous? We answer you all after our experience.
Reach Buzludzha from Sofia, Plovdiv or Veliko Tarnovo
Yes, again communism as the main ingredient of another one of those crazy corners that convey a certain restlessness around the world. Yes under Soviet obscurantism was born the ghost town of Pyramiden in the Norwegian Arctic as well as in the Darvaza Well in Turkmenistan, the Bulgarian socialist party was founded clandestinely that was part of that Eastern Bloc. But why in the valley of the Thracian Kings?
After visiting the Thracian Tomb of Starosel and Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak, this last World Heritage Site by UNESCO, we come towards Sofia from Plovdiv towards Tryavna and Veliko Tarnovo facing the famous Shipka mountain pass. It is in this E85 where the detour we were looking for is located.
Whether you come in one direction or another, there will be a point on the road that is unmistakable to reach Buzludzha. Guess which one? Effectively, a monolith with a huge statue that you find before arriving in Shipka (or later if you come from there - like us, we passed and that is why in the photo we see it on the left-). From there a paved mountain road but with potholes ascends in about 10 minutes to a parking lot that shows a path to the "flying saucer". Those who have 4x4 can ascend on their right to the top, the rest will happen to you as you will be absolutely amazed before
Unfortunately, Veliko Tarnovo is 80 km away and there is no public transport or taxis to take you. The closest we find to do it in a way other than having a car is to try to get in touch withemail protected that organizes jeep visits for backpackers staying in your hostel (we have no idea how it will go or how much they will charge). Are you ready Paula? Are we going up?
An ascent of about 15-20 minutes under a path of deteriorated tiles on an already consolidated grout, separates us from the highest point of this mountain range at more than 1,400 meters high
Here, an architecturally imposing oval-shaped building next to a huge tower 114 meters high, stands out deteriorated in the landscape. At the top we are able to see the red glass completely broken by vandalism after its abandonment. Why? They came to believe that it could be rubies.
Well Paula, here we are. Are we still investigating? Will there be aliens? Let's See What We Found
Buzludzha, an abandoned communist UFO in Bulgaria
But what is Buzludzha? Are you wanting to know as much as we do? Buzludzha is the imposing headquarters of the Bulgarian Communist Party and also its most representative monument.
Before coming, we read different hypotheses of why this location was the theory that spoke of the relationship with the famous final battle on the same mountain between the Bulgarian rebels with support from the Russians and the Ottoman Empire. The truth is that This site was chosen by an important meeting of socialist revolutionaries in 1891 and, 100 years later (in 1981), its commemoration was reflected with the founding of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (later communist party) clandestinely and construction of the most impressive architectural buildings in the world
Years later here we are, in front of this UFO exactly at the point of pride of the communist party since its inauguration by Dimitar Blagoev 35 years ago.
What happened then? Why did one of the greatest communist architectural jewels fall into oblivion and was abandoned on top of this mountain? History repeats itself and, as we saw inthe ghost town of Pyramiden in the Norwegian Arctic, the fall of the communist regime of the USSR precipitated that the building was abandoned to its fate, to weathering and vandalism. "NEVER FORGET YOUR PAST" Pray entry today (formerly the NEVER did not exist)
We explore its entrance and is closed to lime and song. Gate, padlocks. All this despite the fact that, finally, in 2011 he returned to the current Bulgarian Communist Party. However, the controversy that arises between the Bulgarian society itself and the little interest in transforming it into a tourist attraction keeps it in the utmost obscurantism.
Its imposing dimensions, its architectural complexity or the fact that the Soviet star that crowned the tower was greater than that of the Kremlin, knock on our doors ...
Story of Ogmias on Vero4Travel
Book of abandoned cities bought in the Pyramiden experience
Information of the owners of Hostel Mostel in Veliko Tarnovo
We have to enter as Paula! We may not have another occasion like this
We enter Buzludzha! The interior of the "flying saucer"
With some concern, we move perimeter to the right of the structure. We had read that there is a gap here to enter to it although you have to be careful. Effectively fast we found it. Stones already placed in the form of stairs facilitate our access. Let's go inside the flying saucer!
To enter you have to take several things into account. The first is that you have to turn to be able to boost upwards grabbing you on the upper bars of the corrugated mesh. The second is that we must be careful with those same bars to avoid hitting our heads. Finally, be sure be subject at all times because between the platform you reach and the hole there is a small hole with enough meters of fall. !Do not suitable for all audiences! What would life be without a little risk?
We are inside! Closer than ever to have that extraterrestrial kidnapping inside the UFO.
The other, using ropes in the purest "caving" style Photo by backroadvagrants.com)
UPDATE MAY 2017:Gorka tells us that all the entrances have already been sealed and surveillance cameras have been installed
AUGUST 2017 UPDATE: ECC and Juan Antonio tell us in the comments that the entry we describe is open again and even the fence used to seal it now serves to raise more easily
SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2017 UPDATE: Manuel tells us that as of September 26, the floor opening is open again and he sends us a photo for future travelers. Thank you very much! Felix completes it on October 2, commenting that "As you climb the outer stairs on the left side there is an opening in the ground with a blue-purple flat rope hooked tightly to a rustle of rusty irons. There was a lot of water inside because of the heavy rains. They have also put two large posters in Bulgarian that partially cover the graffiti 'never forget your past'that put 'Warning! Danger of falling objects! Don't pass! '"
UPDATE OCTOBER 2017: Jesus sends us an email that updates us with news. It seems that there is still a hole in the ground to the left of the UFO but there is no trace of the rope so you have to climb up. Once in the hole, there is a slot to go down to a room in which they have placed a wooden slat supported by a metal bar (those used in the propping works) and an iron structure that is the one that must be used to go down and go to ladder mode. "And yes, da shit once they put their feet on the ground and you have to walk those corridors without light, collapsed, bypassing debris, screaming if there was someone there in the purest 'horror movie' style until you reach the room in which I found 3 German adventurers"
APRIL 2018 UPDATE: Juan Ángel tells us that "The only entrance is still the hole, with an approximate height of about two meters and with a plank to help you down. It descends to a reinforced concrete landing about one meter wide and about a height of about 3 meters. They have put some boards to pass the remains of a metal structure of an electrical panel and from there, as a staircase, you can descend to the ground. The boards are dangerous because they move if you step on the end. When we went there was an intense fog, which made the light very low, but increased the feeling of adventure"and more details of how they arrived in the comment
FINAL UPDATES JULY 2018: Paul updates us in the comments telling us that "They have put a booth at the entrance with a policeman who controls that no one accesses through the hole in the ground. He has told us that access is prohibited because it is dangerous and blah blah blah. A pity In case you want to enter, you have to go very early in the morning, making sure that the policeman on duty has not arrived and remove the board and stones from the hole"
UPDATE 16 AUGUST 2018:Ainhoa and Irati write us an email that corroborates what Paul wrote, telling us that "there is a booth where there is a person watching over what gives more respect to risk. In addition, the hole in the ground on the left side of the monument is covered with many stones and concrete, so entry is impossible.The one on the right is also covered with a kind of door. A pity the truth, we would have loved to enter but it was impossible although, however, from the outside it is also spectacular "
The first thing we see are stairs and lots of rubble. Numerous empty doors and the low light that leave their slits allow us to orient ourselves. It is all in a horrible state of preservation.
The mastodon building It is divided into 3 floors in addition to the tower (here you have the Buzludzha map). The one below seems quite dark so we tried our luck with the stairs. !Prize! We are in the auditorium
If it seemed absolutely spectacular on the outside, what can we say about this room? Buzludzha pretended to be the greatest symbol of communism ... and they succeeded! This place is simply colossal
Despite the considerable damage suffered by its isolation, the auditorium shines with a ceiling that grazes the bright where it can't be missing the hammer and sickle, and a Marxist inscription that reads "Proletarians of all countries, unite".
It is one of the domes, about 14 meters high, more spectacular than we have ever seen and it would not be surprising that, due to its architectural component, UNESCO had entered ex officio
But that never happened and the current Buzludzha will last what it takes for this dome to collapse. Gone are the 14 million cams (about 7 million euros) from donations that managed to carry it out and so many and so Good murals and mosaics, the work of numerous artists and volunteers who collaborated in their day.
A large mural with images of Engels, Marx and Lenin is not missing but it is their mosaics that in any other part of the world and with more antiquity would have called the attention of the community.
Several side stairs of the conference room lead to a higher level. Do you doubt we would go up? It seems that they are still in good condition to do so
We are reaching the upper level of the main structure in the form of a flying saucer
Buzludzha murals, abducted by their beauty
We must say that the auditorium had left us speechless. Just for that room it is worth taking a few small risks. Now, what we had reserved the upper floor was even more impressive. We reached a corridor with large windows overlooking the magnificent landscape, the sky and the spectacular 114 meter tower which was intended to be the center of power of the country, the place from which the destiny of millions of people, their way of life and their culture would be monitored.
If talking about UFO, UFO or flying saucer because of the shape of the building makes sense, it is in this corridor that it acquires greater meaning and where not even the smallest detail is missing ... futuristic!
The mosaics show leader images and others from the plain town. It is difficult to distinguish sometimes by its state of deterioration
We step back on our steps. The auditorium from the heights looks even more extraordinary despite the damage. It was the place destined to expose all the communist ideology that the country would bring forward. You feel very small in this place. The photos fall alone ...
Are those latest photos that leave more evidence of the poor state in which everything is and where you can see perfectly how there are remains that have come off the roof, some that better not fall on your head. Also, although it has not rained these days, the amount of puddles that Mother Nature has left this winter all over the ground and that the humidity and the gloomy microclimate of this place has not allowed to dry yet. It is precisely at that moment, with the sickle and the hammer over our heads, when one feels that he will be abducted by beings from beyond. Doesn't it look like a UFO?
We descend to the floor below. Here the darkness and gloom leave an even more gloomy atmosphere. We hear the noise of some new visitors who have decided to sneak in and reassure us. At least we are not alone.
Here, an open grid leaves vision towards the outskirts in which we were before the central door, the same one that is closed to lime and song.
If we continued along the darkest corridor, with the use of the headlamp that does not leave us on any trip, we would have tower access. It is not easy because there is a good maze of stairs blocked by rubble and is under an almost hidden door but it ends up coming.
It is time to carefully abandon the oval building of Buzludzha after saying goodbye for the last time to the wonderful abandoned communist congress. Those who have more time, in addition to the two giant hands with torches near the parking lot can find here the great statue of Dimitar Blagoev, the old playground or curious graffiti on the surrounding structure
Our route had to continue after about 1h 30 minutes of visit and behind was aplace that deserved a better ending if only for its history and that reminded us, before leaving, that we still have that star visit to Chernobyl pending… someday
It seems that the first Sunday of August, every year they meet here as if it were a event, numerous people of an ideology that is still alive in the world. It must be a good way to know the building as a true sanctuary.
Tips before visiting Buzludzha you should keep in mind
Abandoned means exactly what its definition says. We are in a deteriorated, neglected place, left to its fate ... There is no maintenance, no entry, no organized excursion possible beyond what a hotel or local agency prepares outside any public body and without advertising. What do we mean by this? You must take into account a series of tips before facing your adventure at your own risk
1. Fundamental, DO NOT GO if it is bad weather with windy, heavy rain or snowing. Why? Everything that is part of the roof or roof is loose and in very bad condition. A load of snow, wind or rain can make it fall on your head. We know that there are people who do it but not for these reasons we will recommend it. Don't be unconscious ... leave it for another day!
2. Although we hardly use it (only for the lower floor), take a headlamp that allows you to have your hands free if you have it. It will help you to get in and out and visit some less illuminated room
3. Wear appropriate footwear that can cushion and protect you from crystals, nails and other objects They are scattered on the floor and tread slowly after checking where you do it.
4. Do not climb the tower. We would even tell you, not even with someone who does it in an organized way and considers himself experienced. This place is unstable and dangerous as a whole but the rise to the tower is a temerity
5. And after all of the above, why go? Very easy,Buzludzha is something unique, unusual and unique both from an architectural and experiential point of view for what it means
And despite all this, Buzludzha is not disturbing. How to explain? This place transmits a incredibly soothing or peaceful environment, especially in the upper ring for its lonely and abandoned state. It is both horrible but beautiful. It is difficult to explain.
Reflections on the Buzludzha monument
Those who know us know that we love this type of unusual, esoteric, ghost or abandoned places, but the fundamental reason, many times, is for everything they represent. Buzludzha is possibly the most impressive communist monument we have seen in the world, relevant in the history of Bulgaria with communist leaders from 1947 to 1989 when the regime fell, but also for its real meaning. Do you remember the entry phrase? Don't forget your past. Although we never do, humanity should never forget its own history so as not to make the same mistakes in which we fall again and again. While we follow our path ... and this leads us to the Northern Bulgaria Buzludzha has quenched our thirst and it has been worth it.
Paula and Isaac, from Buzludzha in Bulgaria