Bulgaria has been eager to forget its communist past, but now western experts want to preserve it as a heritage site


It was Bulgarian architect, Dora Ivanova, born a year after the fall of the regime, who has been responsible for the revival in interest in Buzludzha.

She came across the monument on the internet while she was at university in Germany and started a campaign for its conservation four years ago.

“It’s not possible that such an amazing piece of architecture is in such bad condition. It is a part of Bulgarian history whether we like it or not,” Ivanova said.

She said her aim was to conserve the building, rather than restore it, “as restoring it would be to glorify communism”. “I just want to explain history,” she added.

Part of her project would use three-dimensional projection mapping to show what the missing parts of the mosaics might have looked like.

And Ivanova also suggests offering augmented reality self-guided tours.

Europa Nostra’s Levi-Strauss conceded that it would be difficult to restore Buzludzha to its former glory given the controversy surrounding its past.

But that should not prevent the authorities from making use of it for “educational purposes, for conferences and concerts,” he said.

Tourism expert Rumen Draganov suggested that Buzludzha could also help boost tourism to a region already known for its Thracian tombs and famous rose gardens.