After visiting Bulgaria on my first trip around Europe I’ve been fasinated by the brutalist communist era monuments and buildings that are strewn across Eastern Europe.
They are not pretty in the normal sense of the word but they are immensly striking, futurstic looking and definitely nothing like the architecture or design we have in England.
Below are a selection of these incredible monuments:
Buzludzha Monument – Bulgaria
The most widley recognised of these structures is Buzludzha, formally known as the House-Monument of the Bulgarian Communist Party, the monument looks like it has just been plucked from the set of 1950’s sci-fi movie or computer game.
Completed in 1981 at a cost of over 16,000,000 Bulgarian Levs (around £7,000,000) the monument now stands atop of mountain in central Bulgaria.
You can read a previous blog post about my visit and see many more photos I took via the link below:
The Buzludzha Monument, Bulgaria’s abandoned UFO
Pyramid of Tirana – Albania
Located in Tirana, the capital of Albania and surrounded on all sides by ordinary buildings this structure stands out like a sore thumb. Originally constructed in 1988 as a museum in honour of a past Albanian leader it has since seen a variety of ownerships including a miltary staging area and a television station.
It’s regular change of ownership combined with the unpopularity of the communist legacy it was associated with means that today it stands dilapidated, covered in graffit and throroughly looted for materials.
Partisan Memorial Cemetery – Bosnia and Hercegovina
Located in the Bijeli Brijeg part of Mostar lies this impressive Memorial Cemetary. It was opened in 1965 by Josip Broz Tito in honor of the Yugoslav Partisans of Mostar and remained in good condition until 1992 when it was damaged by war and dynamiting.
After the war was over the cemetery deteriorated and fell into disrepair and even after recontruction and re-opening in 2005 it again fell victim to vandalism and neglect.
Tjentiste War Memorial – Bosnia
One of the more abstract and striking monuments found in former Yugoslavia, a memorial to the 7,000 people who were killed as part of the Battle of the Sutjeska. Built in 1970 it was constructed of grey concrete and has the recognisable angular and brutalist looks that you see across the region.
Podgaric Monument – Croatia
Often likened to the Millenium Falcon this is the epitome of abstract socialist design. Looking like something pulled straight out of a film or video game it sits atop a hill near the small town of Podgarić. Commisioned by Tito and constructed in 1967 it serves as a memorial to the people of the Moslavina region during the 1941 uprising in Croatia.
Kadinjača Memorial Complex – Serbia
Part of the Kadinjača Memorial Complex this monument is dedicated to the soldiers of the Workers Battalion who died in 1941 defending the Supreme Headquarters of NOPOJ, partisan brigades and a partisan hospital.
Alyosha Soviet Army Memorial – Bulgaria
Alyosha, a memorial to built to commemorate soviet casualties during the liberation of Bulgaria, can be found atop of Bunarjik Hill in Plovidiv. The already impressive 11m tall concrete statue tops a 6m granite lined pedestal allowing it to tower over the city and be seen from several miles away.
Recommended to us from a member of staff at Old Town Hostel it’s definitely worth the climb if you find yourself in Plovdiv with a bit of time to spare.
I’d love to hear from you in the comment if you have visited any of these or if you know of any other communist monuments in Eastern Europe which I should add to my list.