Exploring the UFO!
A visit to Buzludzha was definitely of the highlights of my trip to Europe. We had heard so much about this UFO building from other travelers, and in the hostel we stayed in, there were day trips to visit this site during high season. It was starting to get really cold when we visited Bulgaria, so the hostels paused all day trips, but we were so lucky to have met two travelers who were on a road trip around Bulgaria! They invited us to join them the next day as they were intending on going to see the Buzludzha and we gladly accepted 🙂
We started our day early, grabbed some free breakfast at the hostel and the next thing we knew we were on the road. A few hours later past some highways, we were already driving through the woods and heading up the mountains with each winding road. The view on the way up was incredible, and the weather was starting to get really chilly. The higher we got, the more we could see the monument from afar and my heart was pounding. I have never been this excited to see an abandoned building in my life.
So what is this whole UFO building about? ‘The Buzludzha Monument on the peak was built by the Bulgarian communist regime to commemorate the events in 1891 when the socialists led by Dimitar Blagoev assembled secretly in the area to form an organised socialist movement with the founding of the Bulgarian Social Democratic Party, a fore-runner of the Bulgarian Communist Party.’ People call it the UFO building because the shape of the building really does look like a space craft, plus it’s located in the middle of nowhere!
It’s no longer maintained by the Bulgarian government and is now completely abandoned, you could enter the monument by climbing into a small hole from the right side of the building and explore the premises with a torch. Once inside, follow the stairs and that will lead you to an amazing dome interior, surrounded by portraits made out of mosaic tiles all around. When I took my first step into the main arena, my jaw dropped and it took me a while to soak up what I was looking at. IT. IS. MINDBLOWING
The place was massive, with sunlight pouring through the holes in the ceiling giving the place a super creepy and mysterious vibe. Despite the condition of the place, we could imagine how it used to look like in the past just by looking at what was left of the red velvety ceilings and the white marble walls. There were mosaic portraits of many people and some of these tiles have been removed or stolen but I wouldn’t know.
As we continued exploring, we found our way past some unstable stairs and debris and into the basement. Down below, it was incredibly dark and I could see nothing if not for the flash light from my iPhone. There were rooms, toilets, and what we assumed to be a reception/coat counter and everything was already stripped off. If you look around in the rumble you can actually find cool stuff like the white marble pieces from the walls or the coat number tags that probably used to hang on those walls. Venturing around the basement some more, we found the entrance to the tall tower that is connected to the main building. It’s not an easy climb, the girls stayed behind while the boys went ahead to check it out. To get all the way to the top, you’d have to climb some firemen ladders (or was it an elevator shaft?) that was probably about 10 storeys high, in the dark.
Because it was low season and no tours to the Buzludzha at the time we went, we were the only people inside and it got so creepy in the basement, especially at one point when we saw what looked like a shrine for 2 French urbexers that supposedly died while exploring. I’m pretty sure it was fake and the whole setup was just a hoax to scare people, but it worked alright, I freaked out Â a little and imagined gypsies roaming around the basement, robbing and stabbing people who come by to look around. As much as it’s a mind-blowing place to visit, I’d be careful while going around just because there might be puddles of water under the floorboards that you’re walking, unstable steps and also plenty of broken glass in the rubble.Â