Kambanite, International Children’s Monument and Park in Sofia Symbol of the innocent faith in the good that only children can have
Tour guide Sofia – Children from all over the world built into the unique monument their faith in the good and bright days to come, days without war and violence. The Monument symbolizes the great desire of children to live in a peaceful and beautiful environment.
Kambanite (The Bells) is dedicated to children all over the world.
With a tour guide Sofia, Kambanite is an interesting place to visit.
During the Communist regime many Bulgarian families were forced to leave the country because of political differences. That is the case with many Bulgarians who live all around the world. Kambanite represent all the Bulgarian children living abroad.
The park with the bells was the idea of Lyudmila Zhivkova, the daughter of the former Communist leader of Bulgaria -Todor Zhivkov. Lyudmila Zhivkova was a respected patron of the arts, and she established the monument through the “Banner of Peace” organization with support from UNESCO. The daughter of Todor Zhivkov was a very controversial figure because of her interests in esoteric Eastern religion and spirituality. As chairman of the Government’s Committee for Culture since June 1975, she was in charge of education, culture and science. She opened Bulgaria to foreign culture and was known as a promoter of Bulgarian creative arts.
Tour guide Sofia – Unity, Creativity, Beauty
An inscription at the monument’s base reads, “Children of the future accept the eternal, fiery call of immortality – Unity, Creativity, Beauty.” The park has been designed as a circular pattern of bells donated by different countries. There is a concrete tower in the centre holding seven bells which represent the seven continents. With the participation of the UNESCO Banner of Peace children’s movement, the Bells Monument was built in a only 30 days and nights.
Being built in the Communist era and thus part of it, may be a symbol, the monument and park were neglected for many years. Unfortunately, today many of the original bells are missing; bells from all around the world – the USSR, both the German Deomocratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, North and South Korea, Syria, Angola, China, Nicaragua, Thailand, Zimbabwe and many other countries around the world. There is Bulgaria’s whopping 1300 kg bell as well (commemorating 1300 years of Bulgarian history in 1981). There are even new bells donated after Communism by NATO and the Rotary club.
Lyudmila Zhivkova’s daughter, Evgeniya Zhivkova (also a fashion designer) started a campaign to restore the park. She is hoping the place to be an area preserved for the children only. Her ambition is in the future that park to be again the meeting point for the Bulgarian children with different contests, concerts and competitions.
The Bells Monument (Kambanite) is situated in a park outside of Sofia’s city centre, at the foot of the Vitosha mountain.
Tour guide Sofia suggests that it can be a nice break out of the town of Sofia. Please, don’t ignore the small sign saying that the bells are for children and they only are allowed to ring the bells. We do hope that one day the world will get united for the children.