This blog provides an insight into the world of our motorhome (MoHo) life. It is intended for our family and friends but we invite comments and questions from all travellers.

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Tuesday, 12 December 2017


I have saved this post for when we were safely out of Bulgaria ..... 
just in case.

The "Flying Saucer" monument has become a site of pilgrimage for hunters of 
Abandoned Spaces

It offers everything necessary for the seeker: Stunning architecture, difficult to access, it is illegal to enter, (apparently) and is stunningly photogenic.

Our visit started with a MoHo drive up the remote and winding road that leads to the Budludzha peak (1,432 m).

This is the heartland of Bulgaria and the scene of historical events that have shaped this beautiful country.


Opened in 23 August 1981 it was built to honour of the founders of the revolutionary Marxist Party in Bulgaria (1891). Since the end of Socialist rule in 1989 the monument has suffered from politically motivated vandalism and scavenging of materials and now stands as a ruined sentinel over the Bulkan Mountains.

Official Opening 1981

Buzludha Monument 2017. (1432m)


The entrance to the monument is securely locked and threatening signs display warnings that are clear even to those who don't read Bulgarian.

Locked entrance doors, graffiti and icicles.

To access the dilapidated interior you must descend by rope through a small hole, shuffle along a narrow suspended ledge and climb down the disused shelving to the bowels of the structure.

Unauthorised access point.

Once inside you can navigate through pools of dark water and rubble to follow the labyrinth of rooms, tunnels and stairs up to the main auditorium.

Broken stairs, rubble and graffiti litter the interior.

Despite the decayed and broken state of the interior, the monument remains as an impressive hulk with traces of it's former magnificence.

Panorama of main auditorium with mosaic walls.

The centrepiece of the roof is a gigantic mosaic featuring the hammer and sickle surrounded by the Communist manifesto stating:

 "Proletarians of all countries, unite!"

Ceiling Mosaic

When completed the halls were decorated with 510 square meters of mosaics that utilised 35 tons of cobalt glass. Sadly only around 50% remain as testament to the artistic beauty of Bulgarian history told in glass.

Wall mosaics
Damaged mosaics

Outside the auditorium is a narrow circular corridor which leads to the viewing area.
From this ring of window frames a stunning 360 degree vista of the Bulkan Mountains can be had.

Panoramic view of the frosty Bulkan Mountains. (Forty tons of glass removed by scavengers).

On a cool but sunny afternoon we spent around three hours exploring the ruin and making pictures. We also met excited travellers from the USA, UK and Bulgaria all of whom had come to share in the adventure of an abandoned place.

Outer corridor.

Panorama with view of our MoHo in the carpark

Exploring the outer corridor

Famous faces watch over the ruins.

 Despite it's state of disrepair this behemoth of a structure remains structurally sound.  

The 75,000 tons of concrete and 3,000 tons of steel endure defiantly on the mountain top.


The Star Tower is over 70m high and the red glass stars on each side are 12 m across

Sunset over Bulgaria


A visionary new project to restore and rejuvenate the monument has recently been launched and has already gained the support of the original architect, Georgi Stoilov

Under the title Buzludzha Project Foundation, young Bulgarian architect Dora Ivanova has published plans for a non-governmental redevelopment of the site into a functional museum. The rescued building will house a cleverly displayed history of Bulgaria and restoration of the mosaic artworks.

Proposed interior.
Museum displays.

More information on the proposed restoration and history of the monument can be found at: 

As the sun cast an Autumnal glow over the Balkan mountains we settled in for the night in the warmth of the MoHo.
A freezing wind blew in an early taste of winter and in the morning the snow covered ground bore witness to another visit.

Snowy morning at Buzludzha Peak

Other than being a picturesque country loaded with history, Bulgaria is a treasure trove of Soviet style monuments and architecture that will generously reward those with an adventurous spirit.

Higher quality copies of the images presented here and others of the Buzludzha Monument can also be viewed at: