Located in the heart of the Balkan Mountains is the abandoned Buzludzha Monument, better known as the Bulgarian UFO. The structure looks like it’s straight out of science fiction and might remind you of the Starship Enterprise.
Officially it is known as the House-Monument of the Bulgarian Communist Party and his been attracting curious urban explorers since its abandonment in the 1989. Now it is open to to the public on the outside and the adventurous on the inside.
History of the Buzludzha Monument
The Buzludzha Monument was completed at the height of the Bulgarian communist regime in the 1980s. The constructed started in the 1974 and was completed in 1981. However, it was only occupied until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989, which was when it was abandonment. The location of the monument may seem random but it is historic battle site between the Bulgarians and the Turks in 1868. In 1891 Dimitar Blagoev, a socialist leader, met at the peak to discuss the future of Bulgaria. This is why they placed the monument on this peak.
When the government fell in 1989 the Buzludzha Monument was left open to the curious visitors, vandalism, graffiti artists and a reminder of the communist regime.
How to Get to the Buzludzha Monument in Bulgaria
The Buzludzha Monument is located around 3 hours from Sofia by car. The drive will take you from the highway and past beautiful villages along the way. This drive is worth it on it’s own but when you arrive at the Buzludzha Monument you’ll be happy you made the 6-hour round-trip drive from Sofia. You can drive all the way to the top of the monument which is very convenient.
I traveled with a local guide from Private Guide Bulgaria. He was a great driver, knowledgeable, and one of the most fun guides I’ve ever had. He is local and will know how to get you inside the Buzludzha Monument. I highly recommend this company for day trips in Bulgaria or around the Balkans.
The winding road that leads to the top is filled with potholes and hairpin turns. Take your time and enjoy the surrounding view. There are many visitors daily to the monument so there is a good chance you will have it all to yourself in the morning hours.
How to Get Inside the Buzludzha Monument
Officially the inside of the Buzludzha Monument is considered dangerous and off-limits. However, that hasn’t stopped adventurous explorers from finding a way in. The main entrance has been closed for decades but there have been multiple pathways opened over the years. Many entrances are sealed, including the access to the tower, but there is still a way inside the Buzludzha Monument.
To get inside the Buzludzha Monument you will need to walk around the to the left side of the structure where you will come across a hole in the cement floor. This leads to the basement below the structure that leads to a pathway and stairwell to the main hall. Keep in mind there are multiple drops downs, it is dark, and likely wet inside. Bring a light and keep in mind this is dangerous and not permitted.
What’s Inside the Buzludzha Monument
From the outside the Buzludzha Monument is an impressive and unusual sight but inside will offer a glimpse into the past and the former communist government. The walls inside are covered in 510 square meters of mosaics and many are still preserved well enough to get a feel for the original work. There is graffiti around every corner and most of ceiling deteriorating but still intact.
Here are some of my favorite photos from inside the Buzludzha Monument.
Making the Most of Your Visit to Bulgaria’s UFO
Whether you refer to the monument as the official name or Bulgaria’s UFO this place is definitely worth a visit. Leave Sofia early in the morning to avoid traffic and arrive before most daily visitors make it to the site.
Combine this day trip from Sofia with a visit to the Shipka Monument and the Shipka church. Both are near Buzludzha and worth a stop. Enjoy a traditional Bulgarian lunch near Buzludzha Monument head to Guest House Chanovete (Гостилница Чановете in Bulgarian) and relax after exploring Buzludzha in the morning.
Below you can check out my drone video from above the communist Monument in Bulgaria.
Video: Inside Bulgaria’s Communist UFO- Buzludzha Monument