EIt is one of the barely surviving monuments of the Bulgarian communist regime. The house of the Communist Party, the Búzludja monument. Built on the peak of the same name, in the Balkan mountain range, it was built to commemorate the founding of the Communist Party – today with the name changed, Social Democratic Party – 130 years ago. They began to build it in 1974. Today it is a ruin.
The Buzludja monument was completed in 1981, but after the fall of communism it was completely abandoned. Today it mainly attracts curious tourists and urban explorers.
A team of restorers worked in the summer to secure some of the mosaics. They cover an area of about a thousand square meters, which is equivalent to more than two million tiles. As the dome collapses, they are left out in the open at the mercy of the elements.
The restoration and conservation expert Thomas Danzl, Professor at the School of Architecture of the Technical University of Munich details that_ “The water that infiltrates, especially in these conditions, in winter, is frozen. So the pores of this mortar fill with water and expand and literally explode. Here, two aspects are fascinating: the dimensions, and then the high quality of workmanship. This bygone quality has been negated and destroyed by vandalism. Traces of hammer blows can be seen in these mosaics. “_
The Buzludja monument was a state heritage until it was handed over to the Communist Party to be in charge of its conservation and restoration, which is financed with private funds. The dismantling of these monuments of the Bulgarian one-party regime or their maintenance for tourists is a subject of permanent debate. The restoration of the mosaics has cost more than two hundred thousand euros so far. The project manager and architect Dora Ivanova explains that a task of this magnitude requires some of the most experienced experts in the field: “Securing the most threatened mosaics is a very difficult task because they are all made of different materials and this is a task that has not been done in Bulgaria until now. So we are very happy to do it in an international team. We work with 18 restorers from four European universities and several NGOs. They come from Germany, Greece, Switzerland and Bulgaria. “
Conservation of mottling as “communist flying saucer” continues with a new round of fundraising underway. One of the symbols of Bulgarian communism, the monument itself dominates the surrounding landscape … even in its current state of disrepair. It has been raided and stripped of many of its valuable pieces in repeated acts of vandalism.
Buzludja’s deterioration parallels that of the memory of the communist regime that occasionally spikes in Bulgaria when the economic and social situation deteriorates.