When driving over the Shipka Pass we took a detour to visit a famous communist monument built high on top of a mountain.
Buzludzha – derived from Turkish buzlu = icy – is a historical peak in the Central Balkan Mountains. The peak is 1,432 metres high and is a site of historical importance. It was renamed to Hadzhi Dimitar who fought here in 1868 with a band of 30 chetniks a losing battle against 700 Ottomans. Only four Bulgarians survived. Their action served as an inspiration for the Liberation of Bulgaria from the Ottomans ten years later.
We got a visit from a herd of semi wild horses at our parking. They came down the mountains and were very curious. They slowly moved closer and closer to us and especially the caravan, which seemed to fascinate them. They smelled at every corner and even tried to chew on some parts.
When the fog finally lifted and we could see the monument on the top again, we started to walk up.
The Monument House of the Bulgarian Communist Party was built by the Bulgarian communist regime between 1971 and 1981 by public subscription. It commemorated the events of 1891, when a group of socialists assembled secretly in the area to form an organised socialist movement that led to the founding of the Bulgarian Social Democratic Party, a forerunner of the Bulgarian Communist Party. The monument was abandoned after the fall of Communism in 1989 and now lies derelict.
Inside the building, mosaics covered approximately 510 square meters of space commemorating the history of the Bulgarian Communist Party. The mosaics were built with 35 tons of cobalt glass. Today 20% of them have been destroyed due to age and vandalism.
On the outer ring of the monument, mosaics were built with natural stones gathered from rivers across Bulgaria. These mosaics have also mostly vanished due to natural causes.
We decided to drive up to take some more pictures, where we met some Austrian motorcyclists. On the way down we visited Hotel Edelweiss, which name has made us curious. It was a very nice hotel and we had a great lunch there.
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